MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Women vs. Men, Epstein-Barr, Mavenclad, Gilenya

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by Ed Tobias |

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Older Women with MS Age Better Than Their Male Counterparts, Canadian Survey Finds

I have to say that, as a 69 year old man with MS, this report is a bit depressing. In fact, one of its findings is that older men are depressed while older women are anxious. (Maybe some men are depressed because women are anxious)! Seriously, though, Janet Stewart‘s story is a good read and might give us older guys a few things to think about when it comes to living with MS.

Older men with multiple sclerosis (MS) have more harmful lifestyles than older women with the disease, concludes the Canadian Survey of Health, Lifestyle and Aging with Multiple Sclerosis. Treatment for depression could go a long way to promoting more healthy lifestyles for all older MS patients, authors suggest.

The study, “Women’s and Men’s Differing Experiences of Health, Lifestyle, and Aging with Multiple Sclerosis,” appeared in the International Journal of MS Care.


Infection by Epstein-Barr Virus Increases MS Risk for African-Americans and Latinos, Study Finds

For years there have been studies of a possible connection between Epstein-Barr virus and MS. Up until now, however, those studies have focused on Caucasian MS patients. This study, reported by Patricia Inacio, looks at African-Americans and Latinos. And it finds what appears to be an even stronger connection between the diseases in those groups of patients.

Past infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been reported to increase the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). Now, researchers have found a link between EBV and MS in three racial-ethnic groups, with African-Americans and Latinos showing a higher risk for MS than Caucasians.

The research study, “Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and multiple sclerosis susceptibility,” was published in the journal Neurology.


Merck Extension Study Confirms Mavenclad’s Long-term Benefits in Relapsing MS Patients

In late August, the MS drug Mavenclad (cladribine) was approved in Europe for treating relapsing forms of MS. Just days after the European Commission reached that decision, research was published showing that the Commission probably made the right choice. Magdalena Kegel’s story reports the details.

Three-fourths of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who took two short courses of Mavenclad (cladribine tablets) over two years remained relapse-free for four years, according to newly published data from the medication’s Phase 3 extension trial.

The report, “Safety and efficacy of cladribine tablets in patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis: Results from the randomized extension trial of the CLARITY study,” appeared in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.


Gilenya Reduces Relapses in Children and Adolescents with MS, Novartis Trial Shows

Here’s another study reporting positive results. Jose Marques Lopes provides an advance look at research about the pill Gilenya that’s going to be presented at #MSParis2017 in late October.

Gilenya (fingolimod) decreased relapses in children and adolescents with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the Phase 3 PARADIGMS trial (NCT01892722), according to the therapy’s developer, Novartis. The Swiss company will present the trial’s results at the 7th Joint ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS meeting, set for Oct. 25-28 in Paris.

The study addressed the safety and efficacy of an oral, once-daily dose of Gilenya in 215 MS patients ages 10 to 17. Participants received 0.5 mg or 0.25 mg of Gilenya, according to their body weight, and results were compared with those of intramuscular Avonex (interferon beta-1a given once weekly).


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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