MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: MRI Dyes, Diagnosis Criteria, Handwriting and MS, Progressive MS Research

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by Ed Tobias |

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FDA Warns of Risks Linked to Gadolinium-based Contrast Agents Used in MRI Scans

I had a brain MRI a couple of weeks ago and I asked the technician about the FDA warning about the dye that she was going to inject. She wasn’t aware of it. I was surprised. This article will fill you in on the FDA’s words of caution.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated a safety bulletin about gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) after studies raised new concerns about them.

“Research suggests that small amounts of GBCAs may be deposited in certain areas of the brain in some people who have received multiple doses of GBCAs. These deposits were identified years after the administration of the contrast agent, indicating that the contrast agent was not completely eliminated from the body,” said a Jan. 2 announcement by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). “While there is currently no indication that these deposits are harmful, the FDA has advised healthcare providers and patients against unnecessary use of gadolinium for routine MRI scans.”


Global Expert Panel Proposes Updating McDonald Criteria to Diagnose MS

The McDonald Criteria is sort of a checklist that neurologists use to make an MS diagnosis. This is the third time it’s been updated in the last few decades. This update is designed to allow a doctor to make an MS diagnosis faster. (Shameless plug: I’ll also be writing about this in an upcoming column of “The MS Wire.”)

An international panel of multiple sclerosis (MS) experts has proposed revising the McDonald criteria guidelines to improve and expedite the diagnosis of this disease.

Co-chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Cohen of the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Alan Thompson of the University College London, the 30-member panel reviewed newly available research and evolving knowledge to seek an update of the current criteria, in use since 2010.


MS Patients’ Handwriting Ability Correlates with Movement, Sensory and Cognitive Impairment, Study Shows

This study caught my eye because it’s one of those “are you kidding me?” studies. Did the MS world really need someone to study 19 people with MS and conclude that they took longer to write a sentence, and their writing wasn’t as smooth as the healthy control group? Sheesh! Well, at least I now have an excuse for my despicable penmanship.

A deterioration in multiple sclerosis patients’ handwriting aligns with drops in their movement, sensory, and cognitive skills, a study reports.

MS includes loss of hand dexterity and finger movement control. This affects a patient’s capacity to manipulate objects and coordinate hand movement, skills needed in handwriting.


Clomipramine, an Antidepressant, Shows Potential in Treating Progressive MS in Early Study

As the headline says, this is just an early study, but any effort that’s directed at the progressive forms of MS is worthy of note. The researchers believe a different approach is needed for progressive forms.

Clomipramine, an approved antidepressant, shows potential in treating people with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) — a disease form with few treatments — by protecting nerves from various processes thought to underly progressive MS, early research shows.

The lab and animal study, which focused on already-approved treatments, was titled “Systematic screening of generic drugs for progressive multiple sclerosis identifies clomipramine as a promising therapeutic” and published in the journal Nature Communications.


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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