« September 2003 | Main | November 2003 »

Gene-based response to multiple sclerosis drug

"They found that when the patients were given the drug beta-interferon, there was a marked difference in the pattern of gene activity between the different patients. This could help the doctor to modify the dose or the treatment regime - opening the door to truly personalized prescribing."

Read it here.

October 31, 2003 in research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cure for MS is at hand

That's the headline anyway.

"A Singapore medical research team has made a breakthrough discovery that could finally lead to a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS)."

Read a news summary here.

The MS Society says:
"In our opinion, the press release greatly overstates the discovery's impact. Additional work along the same lines is ongoing, funded by the National MS Society, NIH and other agencies, that will ultimately fit the
pieces of this puzzle together and aid in the development of new therapeutic strategies for MS.

Research Programs Department
National Multiple Sclerosis Society"

Or for those more scientifically inclined here is the abstract:

cell.115.2.gif"Axon-derived molecules are temporally and spatially required as positive or negative signals to coordinate oligodendrocyte differentiation. Increasing evidence suggests that, in addition to the inhibitory Jagged1/Notch1 signaling cascade, other pathways act via Notch to mediate oligodendrocyte differentiation. The GPI-linked neural cell recognition molecule F3/contactin is clustered during development at the paranodal region, a vital site for axoglial interaction. Here, we show that F3/contactin acts as a functional ligand of Notch. This trans-extracellular interaction triggers γ-secretase-dependent nuclear translocation of the Notch intracellular domain. F3/Notch signaling promotes oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation and upregulates the myelin-related protein MAG in OLN-93 cells. This can be blocked by dominant negative Notch1, Notch2, and two Deltex1 mutants lacking the RING-H2 finger motif, but not by dominant-negative RBP-J or Hes1 antisense oligonucleotides. Expression of constitutively active Notch1 or Notch2 does not upregulate MAG. Thus, F3/contactin specifically initiates a Notch/Deltex1 signaling pathway that promotes oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination."

Got it? Read the rest here (subscription required).

October 31, 2003 in research | Permalink | Comments (2)

Smoking Increases Risk of Multiple Sclerosis -Study

"Smokers are up to three times as likely to develop multiple sclerosis than nonsmokers, researchers said on Monday. "

Read it here.

If you're still smoking I don't think that this will make any difference, we already knew that:

Smoking was responsible for 70 percent of all cancer deaths and nearly 19 percent of cardiovascular disease deaths in Missouri in 1995. Missouri Department of Health; Center for Health Information Management & Epidemiology. Smoking-Attributable Mortality in Missouri. Monthly Vital Statistics 1998 March;32(1).

Lung cancer has now surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of smoke-related deaths among white middle-class smokers. Thun MJ. Excess Mortality Among Cigarette Smokers: Changes in a 20-year Interval. American Journal of Public Health 1995; 85(9):1223-30.

Smokers have a 50 percent greater chance of contracting a deadly form of adult leukemia. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Smoking doubles the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Silverman DT, Dunn JA, Hoover RN, Schiffman M, Lillemoe KD, Schoenberg JB, et al. Cigarette smoking and pancreas cancer: A case-control study based on direct interviews. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1994; 86(20):1510-16.

Smoking is a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis. Symmons DPM, et al. Blood Transfusion, Smoking, and Obesity as Risk Factors for the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results from a Primary Care-Based Incident Case-Control Study in Norfolk, England. Arthritis & Rheumatism 1997; 40:1955-1961.

According to a recent study, smokers have a 70 percent greater risk of suffering from hearing loss than nonsmokers. Cruickshanks K, Klein R, Klein BE, Wiley TL, Nondahl DM, Tweed TS. Journal of the American Medical Association 1998; 279(21):1715-1719.

Smoking increases the chance of developing cataracts and other eye diseases. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Smokers who develop skin cancer are more likely to die of their disease than nonsmokers. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Smoking increases the risk of duodenal ulcers, Crohn’s Disease, and colon polyps. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Women who quit smoking may dramatically reduce their risk of cervical cancer. Szarewski A, Jarvis MJ, Sasieni P, Anderson M, Edwards R, Steele SJ, et al. Effect of smoking cessation on cervical lesion size. Lancet 1996; 347(9006):941-3.

Women who are exposed to tobacco smoke (smoking and secondhand smoke) every day are two to three times more likely to develop breast cancer. Morabia A, Bernstein M, Heritier S, Khatchatrian N. Relation of breast cancer with passive and active exposure to tobacco smoke. American Journal of Epidemiology 1996; 143(1):918-28.

Smoking increases the chance of developing colorectal, bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancers. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Smoking increases the chance of impotence in males. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Smoking impairs sperm motility and normal development, increasing chances of infertility, miscarriage and birth defects. Napier K. Cigarettes: what the warning label doesn’t tell you: the first comprehensive guide to the health consequences of smoking. NY: American Council on Science and Health; 1996.

Cigarette smoking is a major cause of heart disease among both men and women. Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack of nonsmokers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Fact Book 2000/2001. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/maso/factbook/main.htm. Accessed May 21, 2002.

A recent study found that current smokers sustained their first acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) more than 10 years earlier than non-smokers, and the younger smokers had a higher mortality rate. Weiner P, Waizman WP, Weiner M, Rabner M, Magadle R, Zamir D. Smoking and first acute myocardial infarction: age, mortality and smoking cessation rate. Israel Medical Association Journal 2000; 2(6):446-9.

Long-term cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer mortality in both men and women. Chao A, Thun MJ, Jacobs EJ, Henley SJ, Rodriguez C, Calle EE. Cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer mortality in the cancer prevention study II. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2000; 92(23):1888-1896.

More than 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogens and over 400 other toxins, can be found in cigarette smoke. Glantz S. Tobacco: Biology & Politics. Waco, TX: Health Edco; 1992.

People who smoke one pack or more of cigarettes per day are more likely to suffer vision loss (macular degeneration) than those who never smoked. Seddon JM, Willett W, Speizer FE, Hankinson SE. A prospective Study of Cigarette Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Women. Journal of the American Medical Association 1996; 276:1141-1146.

People who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes per day are nearly twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop diabetes. Rimm EB, Chan J, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Prospective study of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and the risk of diabetes in men. British Medical Journal 1995; 310(6979):555-9.

Long-term cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer mortality in both men and women. Chao A, Thun MJ, Jacobs EJ, Henley SJ, Rodriguez C, Calle EE. Cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer mortality in the cancer prevention study II. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2000; 92(23):1888-96.

October 28, 2003 in research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Coming out of the closet

"Don't tell anyone my dirty secret but I have Multiple Sclerosis. Don't get crazy over the wording of that last statement, it's a bit of a joke. I live with a disease not well understood by the general population or by the medical community."

Blog

October 23, 2003 in people, weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Short History of MS

"The earliest written record of someone with MS was Lydwina of Schieden, Dutch patron Saint of Ice Skaters."

"The first patient Dr. Freud ever treated was his former Nanny, who had Multiple Sclerosis. *Creeping Paralysis* as it was called in those days, was considered a mental condition caused by *Female Hysteria*. As such, little or no extensive research was conducted into the mysteries of MS, until very recent times."

Read it here.

October 23, 2003 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lonely? Hang out here...

"Sheila, of Carluke, Lanarkshire, said: "I never went on the internet looking for love. I'm the luckiest woman in the world and have been given a second chance at happiness."

The couple, who were both diagnosed with MS four years ago, will wed in the ruins of old St Kentigern's Church, Lanark, where William Wallace is said to have married Marion Braidfute in 1296."

Boy the same church as Wallace and Braidfute...

Read the rest of the story here.

October 23, 2003 in people, technology, wacky? | Permalink | Comments (0)

The use of CAM by people with MS

Canadian study on the use of complementary and alternative medicines. The results of this study demonstrate that people with MS are likely to be using some type of CAM.

"Seventy percent of respondents had used CAM within the past two years. Over 100 different practices and products were described."

"Although a small number of people reported experiencing negative effects from CAM (5%), the vast majority perceived positive effects (72%). Therapies most often cited as beneficial were massage therapy, acupuncture and cannabis. The most common reasons for using CAM were to improve health (68%), to lessen the symptoms of MS (61%) and a belief that it couldn’t hurt (55%). Reasons most frequently endorsed for not using CAM were lack of knowledge about these therapies (42%) and satisfaction with the care provided by conventional practitioners (20%)."

Read it here.

October 23, 2003 in complementary and alternative medicine , research, symptom management, treatment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Good overview of MR Imaging (MRI) of the Head

"MRI is the most sensitive exam for brain tumors, strokes, and certain chronic disorders of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis."

Learn more about it here.

October 23, 2003 in newly diagnosed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Driving impairment and MS

31 people with MS and 10 healthy controls took a driving simulator test, they found that the MS group had 3-4 times more accidents and concentration faults than the controls. They also found that driving impairment correlated with performance on a test of cognitive function, but not on tests which reflects physical disability. This suggests that the ability to drive safely, at least for people with MS, has more to do with cognitive function than physical ability. It would be nice to see a larger study of this type. Drive safely!

Read the abstract here.

October 23, 2003 in bummer, research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harry Potter author auctions film roles for MS

"You wouldn't be the first person to read a Harry Potter book and immediately dream of enrolling at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, unless you engage in a rather extensive drug regimen, the wonders of magic, blast-ended skrewts and whomping willows remain the stuff of fantasy. JK Rowling is offereing the next best thing though, auctioning off a pair of walk-on parts in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

Grab your checkbook and head to Scotland for that dream movie role.
Read it here.

October 23, 2003 in entertainment, events, organizations, people | Permalink | Comments (0)