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Books on Health: Working the M.S. Puzzle

An Israeli writer once told Dr. Weiner that the disease he was studying, multiple sclerosis, was a monster.

"You cut it here, it grows there," the writer told the doctor. "You think it is down, but it rises again. You believe you understand why it behaves the way it does, but you are wrong."

M.S., the devastating, unpredictable and progressive disease of the nervous system, is the No. 1 cause of paralysis in young people, "the polio of our age," as Dr. Weiner, a professor of neurology at Harvard, puts it.

Literally translated, multiple sclerosis means "many scars," and although some of the half million Americans who are afflicted respond to drug treatment, Dr. Weiner writes, many do not.
In the disease, white blood cells called T cells go astray and attack protein structures in the sheath of myelin, which covers the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.

Everyone has T cells that can cause M.S., but why they attack in some people and not in others is not known, Dr. Weiner writes, adding, "It probably relates to common viruses and how our immune system reacts to them." There is, he points out, "no evidence that M.S. is caused by a unique M.S. virus, and M.S. is probably not a single disease"
More here.

Buy the book here.

Another review here.

September 30, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Man planned suicide, friend says

With his legs failing him and the ravages of multiple sclerosis eroding his well-buffed physique, Charles Fariala spent his last few months in solitude, not answering his friend's e-mails even as he was online, meticulously surfing the Internet.

He was searching for a way to die.

Eventually the 36-year-old found the information on one of the Internet's suicide sites. It gave him instructions on how to take his life, which he did Sunday. A close friend said he planned months ahead and wanted to die in the arms of his mother, Marielle Houle.

More here.

September 30, 2004 in bummer, people, stuff we don't like to talk about | Permalink | Comments (0)

St. Helens Blast Said Possible Within Days

A small explosion of rocks, ash and steam could occur within the next few days within the crater of Mount St. Helens, where earthquake activity has been steadily building for nearly a week, scientists said Tuesday.

In 1979, when I was obviously veeery young, I built trails on the north slope of Mt. St. Helens. Those trails are now all in Yakima.

More here.

September 28, 2004 in about me | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bladder Issues with Multiple Sclerosis

Bladder and bowel issues can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis. Sometimes the issues are constant and sometimes they are intermittent.

From about.com.

September 28, 2004 in stuff we don't like to talk about, symptom management | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ancient Virus Protein Linked to Multiple Sclerosis

Syncytin, a virus protein that has been around for millions of years, may play a role in the nerve damage that occurs with multiple sclerosis (MS), scientists report in the journal Nature Neuroscience. This finding could lead to new treatments for the devastating neurologic disease.

Syncytin "can activate immune mechanisms, which can ultimately damage cells that make myelin," an important nerve covering that gradually disappears in patients with MS, senior author Dr. Christopher Power, at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, told Reuters Health.

More here.

September 28, 2004 in research | Permalink | Comments (0)

BBC - Ouch! Disability Magazine

Ouch! - the BBC's disability magazine, containing news, features, columnists, comedy and chat community, reflecting the experiences of disabled people.

More here.

September 27, 2004 in advocacy, entertainment, humor, politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Politics and Spin

I hate election years. It is when we get to teach our kids about half truths, lies, distortions and try to explain why people that do these things should be our next President, Senator... We have people like these as role models for our kids and we wonder what the problem is? And party lines don't matter, Greens, Democrates and Republicans all equally give you half truths and distortions.

I have nothing but respect for those who run for office, I'd never do it, but at some point 95% of them become compete scum, or maybe they just end up surrounding themselves with scum, I don't know what it is. I have watched friends go from resonable, honest, passionate individuals to power hungry, egotistical clowns. Here is other of those websites I always wanted to put together.

Spinsanity was founded in April 2001 by Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer, and Brendan Nyhan, three recent college graduates who were distressed at the growing dominance of spin in American politics and determined to do something about it. The trio started Spinsanity as a nonpartisan watchdog dedicated to unspinning misleading claims from politicians, pundits and the press.

Let me know if you think this one is "fair and balanced", I haven't looked through the whole thing yet.

Spin here.

Here's another place www.factcheck.org.

September 25, 2004 in politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Here and Now : Jonathan Katz Lives and Laughs with MS

Jonathan Katz' life has been a real barrel of laughs. A Boston-based stand up comic, he contributed to Comedy Central's early success with the wildly popular "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist," the animated shrink to the comic stars such as Katherine O'Hara.

Jonathan Katz is also a songwriter, and a compilation of his tunes is called "Easy Listening...but Not That Easy." He co-wrote "House of Games" with David Mamet, appeared as an actor in "Daddy Day Care" and authored a book titled "To Do Lists of the Dead."

Jonathan Katz was diagnosed in 1997 with Multiple Sclorosis. Jonathan Katz joins us in the studio to talk about keeping your wits about you, and being witty, when you're diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

Listen here

September 20, 2004 in humor, people | Permalink | Comments (1)

Solid evidence that best treatment for multiple sclerosis is pregnancy

For years, doctors have suggested the best treatment for multiple sclerosis is pregnancy. Now, an Oregon study is delivering solid evidence to support the theory.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center have uncovered the mechanism by which estrogen, produced in high volumes during pregnancy, boosts the expression and number of regulatory cells that are key to fighting MS and other autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and diabetes.

One treatment I guess I won't be on. More here,

September 20, 2004 in research, symptom management, treatment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wunago -- Your guide to Wheelchair Accessible Travel -- www.wunago.com

Contrary to rumor, Wunago is not an ancient tribe of wheelchair warriors. The name "Wunago" comes from a desire many people with disabilities have. They "want to go" places and see new things and experience everything life has to offer. Based on his personal travel experiences,l LorenlWorthingtonlrecognized that travel is far less stressful if you have a clear understanding of what type of accessibility lies ahead. More over, when you hear about a great place to visit that offers a wheelchair-friendly environment, you have a tendency to go explore.

Travel here.

September 20, 2004 in accessability, africa, alaska, ecuador, symptom management, Travel, treatment | Permalink | Comments (0)