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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Today is World MS Day, a day to raise awareness about MS and celebrate those who work so hard to educate others about MS.  I hope that I am doing my part in raising awareness through this blog and my work with the National MS Society!

The MSAA has developed an MS App!  The MY MS MANAGERTM App is now available to download for FREE!  My MS ManagerTM is MSAA's new mobile phone application, provided free of charge to individuals with multiple sclerosis or their care partner to use on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
This app offers individuals a convenient and effective tool to manage the ever-changing course of the disease.
My MS ManagerTM allows you to input and store:
  • Comprehensive medical records
  • Contact information of your healthcare team
  • Descriptions of MS flare-ups, tracking their duration, frequency and intensity
  • Information about side effects and effective treatment strategies
  • Important details essential to staying one step ahead of your MS
So if you have an iPhone, iPad or iTouch, you can download the App by visiting this website.

More news linking low Vitamin D levels to MS - this article is from the NMSS website:
African Americans with MS have significantly lower levels of vitamin D than African Americans who do not have MS, says a new study, but these levels are not linked to disease severity. The authors conclude that larger studies of diverse populations are necessary to fully understand the relationship of MS and vitamin D. Jeffrey Gelfand, MD, Ari Green, MD, and colleagues (University of California, San Francisco) report their findings in Neurology. The study was funded by a National MS Society/American Academy of Neurologist Clinician Scientist Award to Dr. Green, and a research grant funding genetic studies in ethnically distinct populations to Jorge Oksenberg, PhD.
Background: A number of genetic and environmental factors influence whether a person will get MS.  These factors may also impact the severity of the disease. Research is increasingly pointing to a reduced level of vitamin D in the blood as a risk factor for developing MS. In lab mice, vitamin D can reduce the effects of EAE, an MS-like disease. The National MS Society is funding several projects in this area, including a new clinical trial getting underway to test whether vitamin D can reduce disease activity in people who have MS.
African Americans are at increased risk for having low vitamin D levels, possibly because melanin, which determines the level of pigment in the skin, acts as a filter of ultraviolet (UV) light, limiting the amount of vitamin D that can be produced by the body in response to sunlight. Generally, the risk of MS in African Americans is around half that of Caucasian Americans. This team previously reported that African Americans tended to have a more aggressive course of disease than Caucasian Americans, were at higher risk for developing mobility impairments, were more likely to develop MS later in life, and were at higher risk for having symptoms restricted to the optic nerve and spinal cord (Neurology 2004;63[11]:2039-45). For this study  they examined vitamin D levels in African Americans with MS to determine any connection between these levels and disease severity in this population.
The Study: The team studied 339 African Americans with MS and 342 African American controls without MS, recruited through the African American MS Genetics Project led by Drs. Oksenberg and Dr. Bruce Cree MD, PhD. Detailed clinical and genetic information was available for the participants, as well as blood samples. Researchers looked at vitamin D levels in the blood, the severity of the disease, the amount of ultraviolet exposure for participants based on where they lived, and the proportion who had European genetic ancestry.
Of the group with MS, 77% were deficient in vitamin D, compared to 71% of those without MS. There was no association between vitamin D levels and disease severity. People with MS were exposed to less UV radiation than those without MS and lived about one degree of latitude farther north. People with a higher proportion of European genetic ancestry were less likely to have low vitamin D levels than people with a lower proportion of European ancestry. The link between low vitamin D levels and MS was weaker, but still existed after adjusting for these differences.
This study adds accumulating data of a link between MS risk and lower levels of vitamin D. The authors conclude that larger studies of diverse populations are necessary to fully understand the relationship of MS and vitamin D.

I also recently read an article in the NMSS magazine, Momentum, that I will share with you all soon!  Hope everyone has a Happy World MS Day!

1 comment:

  1. there needs to be an app to donate to your cause whenever you feel the random urge to do so--you could do it so easily and effortlessly from your phone!
    you know who this is....