MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Medical Marijuana Gum, Brain Stimulation and Fatigue, Gilenya Study, Invisible Diseases

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by Ed Tobias |

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Holland Approves Clinical Trial Plans for AXIM’s Cannabis-based Gum for MS Pain and Spasticity

Because the state where I live has only recently approved the use of medical marijuana, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it for my MS. From what I’ve read, various blends of medical marijuana have helped a lot of people deal with their MS symptoms. But not many significant clinical trials have been conducted, as far as I know, on the effects of marijuana on our disease. Here’s one of medical marijuana in chewing gum form that’s gearing up in the Netherlands.

Dutch regulators have signed off on AXIM Biotechnologies’ clinical trial plans for a chewing gum that offers controlled release of cannabinoids to treat multiple sclerosis patients’ pain and spasticity.

The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board’s sign-off on MedChew Rx means AXIM can start trials.


Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Reduces MS-associated Cognitive Fatigue

In Germany, researchers are investigating whether stimulating the brain using electrodes on the scalp can reduce cognitive fatigue. But the results are mixed. An objective measurement of something called the P300 potential, which is an electrical response from the brain that can assess cognitive function in the attention and memory domains, has shown positive results. However, the patients’ own perception of their fatigue level showed no improvement. And, if the patients don’t feel an improvement, does it really matter that a test measurement does?

One single session of non-invasive brain stimulation can reduce cognitive fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), say researchers at Germany’s Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg.

Their study, “Electrophysiological and behavioral effects of frontal transcranial direct current stimulation on cognitive fatigue in multiple sclerosis,” appeared in the Journal of Neurology.


Study Identifies MS Patients at Risk of Severe Disease Reactivation After Gilenya Is Discontinued

According to a Turkish study, certain MS patients are more likely than others to return to their pretreatment disease activity level if they stop using Gilenya as their disease-modifying therapy (DMT). But I regularly read about people who have gone off other DMTs and, as a result, have regressed. So, it seems to me that a broader study, involving various DMTs, is needed to put this into some perspective. 

Multiple sclerosis patients with high relapse rates but less physical impairment before starting on NovartisGilenya (fingolimod) are likely to experience a surge in disease activity if they stop the treatment, researchers in Turkey report.

The study, which dealt with patients with relapsing forms of MS, referred to the surge as “severe disease reactivation,” or SDR.


Online Video Aims to Show How ‘Invisible’ Disabilities Affect Lives

Until I read this, I was unaware that there is a group devoted to making “invisible” disabilities, such as MS, visible to the public. But not only is there one, the group has produced a video to bring our diseases out into the open. Bravo!

The Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) has created a video to raise awareness about the hardships of disabilities that are real but not readily evident to passersby, and often complicate life for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other disorders.

The video, called “I Am Invisible No More,” features people with such disabilities telling their stories. With this initiative, the association hopes to help people — families, friends, or the general public — understand that things that are not directly apparent can also be severely disabling.


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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