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, September 20, 2011

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Random excerpts from my MSIF e-mailers:

A good reason to find a doctor that you like: An "study from Italy found that a good physician-patient relationship improves both patient satisfaction and adherence to long-term therapy."

A randomized trial of new drug, Simvastatin, "involved giving 80 mg Simvastatin daily for six months to people with optic neuritis. The results suggest that this is well tolerated and possibly effective in patients with acute optic neuritis."

"Alemtuzumab, a candidate treatment for MS, has the potential side effect of autoimmune disease. In this study, the authors analyse both clinical and serological data of patients with MS treated with alemtuzumab. It was found that autoimmune disease developed in 22.2% of those treated with a range of different systems affected."

And now, from the NMSS website, What Causes MS in Kids?:
Investigators nationwide are recruiting 640 children with early relapsing-remitting MS or CIS (clinically isolated syndrome, a single episode of MS-like symptoms) and 1280 children without MS or CIS for a four-year study to determine environmental and genetic risk factors that make children susceptible to developing MS. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, leverages the National MS Society’s support of the Promise:2010 Pediatric Network of Centers of Excellence.
Background: This study takes advantage of the collaborative efforts of the Pediatric Network. Although the initial grants end this year, there is funding through 2012 to support a data coordination and analysis center so the Network can continue to collect data and study pediatric MS and related disorders. The Network produced over 150 papers, posters and presentations on pediatric MS and network members are the lead authors and editors of a textbook on Pediatric MS from Cambridge Press.
The five-year, $3.2 million grant to lead investigator Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant (University of California, San Francisco Pediatric MS Center) from the NIH is based on pilot data collected by the Network in a study of 180 children with MS. That study confirmed previous reports that the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes infectious mononucleosis and other disorders) was associated with higher risk of MS. They also reported that cytomegalovirus was associated with a lower risk of developing MS, and that herpes simplex virus type 1was associated with increased risk in children who did not have a specific immune-related gene. (Neurology 2011;76:1989–1995)
These findings and other factors are being investigated further in the new study, which should help us understand more about how MS begins in children and can eventually be applied to adult forms of MS. Read more about what triggers MS.
The Study: Those under age 18 who had disease onset (MS or CIS) in the last two years may enroll in this study with the consent of their parents. Children without MS or CIS can enroll if they are 19 or younger and don’t have a demyelinating disease or an autoimmune disorder (except asthma).
Participants are providing blood samples to test for genetic and environmental risk factors that may be associated with pediatric MS. Next, all participants are completing questionnaires about relevant environmental factors. Investigators also will draw information from participants’ medical records.
Investigators specifically are looking at genes, Epstein Barr and other common viruses, vitamin D levels, and exposure to cigarette smoking. They are attempting to confirm these risk factors separately and to determine whether there are any interactions between them.
It would be great to have more answers!

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