I intend this blog to be a mixture of my personal experiences with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and news related to MS. Hopefully, I can shed an optimistic light on MS even though it is difficult to be an optimist living with MS.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MS News Never Stops

News from the Multiple Sclerosis mailer that I get included good news regarding Gilenya:
A new analysis demonstrated that Gilenya (fingolimod) reduced the risk of disability progression in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), regardless of treatment history. This analysis of the phase III two-year FREEDOMS study was presented at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
In the two-year FREEDOMS study, Gilenya reduced relapses by 54 percent compared to placebo. Also, Gilenya showed a 30 percent reduction in the risk of three-month confirmed disability progression as compared to placebo over two years.
The FREEDOMS analysis presented this week at AAN showed that 0.5 mg Gilenya-treated participants who were new to therapy had a 37 percent reduction in the risk of three-month confirmed disability progression compared to placebo. For those previously treated with alternate therapies, Gilenya 0.5 mg led to a 30 percent reduction in risk.
And news that a recent study cast doubt on the theory that CCSVI causes MS (I never believed that it actually caused MS, but there definitely seems to be some relation / correlation and the CCSVI procedure definitely seems to help some MSers):

A just-released study on the relationship between MS and chronic cerebral venous insufficiency (CCSVI) found that CCSVI may be a result of MS, not a cause, according to researchers.
A narrowing of the extracranial veins that restricts the normal outflow of blood from the brain, CCSVI has been a much-discussed topic in the MS community and among healthcare providers since it was first publicly described as a possible cause of the disease in October 2009.
The study, conducted by University at Buffalo (UB) researchers, appears in the current issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Robert Zivadinov, M.D., Ph.D, associate professor of neurology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and president of the International Society for Neurovascular Disease, is first author on the paper.
"Our results indicate that only 56.1 percent of MS patients and 38.1 percent of patients with a condition known as clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), an individual's first neurological episode, had CCSVI.
"While this may suggest an association between the MS and CCSVI, association does not imply causality. In fact, 42.3 percent of participants classified as having other neurological diseases (OND), as well as 22.7 percent of healthy controls involved in the study, also presented with CCSVI.
"These findings indicate that CCSVI does not have a primary role in causing MS," says Zivadinov. "Our findings are consistent with increased prevalence of CCSVI in MS, but substantially lower than the sensitivity and specificity rates in MS reported originally by the Italian investigators."
The results of the UB study are based on 499 participants in the Combined Transcranial and Extracranial Venous Doppler Evaluation (CTEVD) study, which began at the university in April 2009.
Prevalence rates were calculated in three groupings: only subjects with positive and negative CCSVI diagnoses; only borderline cases included in the negative group; and subjects who fulfilled any of the five criteria.
When only positive and negative CCSVI cases were considered, results showed a CCSVI prevalence of 62.5 percent in MS patients, 45.8 percent in those with OND, 42.1 percent in CIS, and 25.5 percent in healthy controls.
When borderline cases were included as negative for CCSVI, prevalence figures were 56.1 percent in MS patients, 42.3 percent in those with OND, 38.1 percent with CIS, and 22.7 percent in healthy controls.
The mailer also discussed BG12, Laquinimod, Medical Marijuana for MSers, Teriflunomide, and other topics.  I will discuss these issues in later posts. 

On another note, I was invited to be a member of my local NMSS chapter's Advisory Board.  I am very excited to attend a meeting tomorrow!  I can't wait to be more involved with the organization and I hope to bring something to the table!  Anyone have any great ideas for fundraisers or other events to promote awareness?

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