First, Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mothers reading!
Now, onto what I learned this weekend . . .
MS is an extremely complex disease, to learn more about the disease and complexity of the etiology of MS, read this article from the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA). The fact that MS is complex is not news to me, but the article is very informative.
I learned more about stem cell research this weekend, particularly what they are doing at Northwestern University in Chicago. The clinical trials are currently primarily for those with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) (they take a few individuals with Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), but only if the people are transitioning from RRMS to SPMS. There is a lot of very interesting information regarding stem cell transplant use in MS patients on the Division of Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Diseases Website. There is also a series of videos from Professor Richard Burt, who is heading up the clinical trials at Northwestern (you can watch those videos by clicking here). Lots of interesting and exciting stuff going on there for people who do not respond to the available therapies!
The MSAA has developed a tool for helping people choose the right therapy. "Designed as a memory aid, the S.E.A.R.C.H. acronym represents the key areas that should be considered when "searching" for the most appropriate MS treatment. Each letter represents an important topic to be addressed by patients, physicians, and other healthcare and social service professionals." S.E.A.R.C.H. stands for:
To learn more about S.E.A.R.C.H. and to see a handy chart about the available therapies, go to this website.