MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Mediterranean Diet, Medical Marijuana, Ocrevus, Myelin Repair
There’s been a good deal of news recently about the possibility that bacteria in our stomachs have an impact on our MS. There’s also been talk, for a long time, about whether certain diets can improve MS symptoms. This study combines the two theories, looking at whether a specific diet, the Mediterranean diet, impacts gut bacteria and the role they may play in the inflammation and nerve cell degeneration seen in autoimmune disorders like MS. This small study began in January and is due to end in April.
New York researchers are doing a pilot study of whether a Mediterranean diet can reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life.
Dr. Ilana B. Katz Sand, an assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is leading the research. She is also the associate medical director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis.
Less pain, fewer falls, a reduction in the use of prescription meds, and improved quality of life. With results like that, and since I meet the study’s definition of “older,” this was a must-read for me. I bet you’ll be interested, too, no matter what your age is.
Medical cannabis was found to safely and significantly reduce chronic pain in older patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and a wide range of other conditions, researchers in Israel report.
Led by scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center, the study was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine under the title “Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly.”
This statement comes from an interview with a top scientist at the company that manufacturers Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), so you have to consider the source. However, as the first anniversary of its FDA approval approaches, interest in Ocrevus remains very high. And word-of-mouth from Ocrevus patients on social media seems to be as positive as what’s reported in this story.
Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), Genentech’s humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, continues to show clear evidence that it helps to slow disease progression and enable better function — including in the hands and limbs — of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), latest data reveals.
As the first FDA-approved therapy — in March 2017 — tackling both MS forms, Ocrevus was quickly considered a “game-changing MS treatment.” Last week, Multiple Sclerosis News Today interviewed Dr. Hideki Garren, Genentech’s group medical director of product development neuroscience, about current views and the data collected to date on the therapy’s effectiveness.
These two studies are just getting underway so it’ll be a while before we hear any results. They began last year and run through 2020. But the subjects, improving cognitive functioning by using training and finding a way to repair myelin, are two that always spark my interest. So, I read this just to see what’s up.
University at Buffalo researchers are working on ways to improve multiple sclerosis patients’ cognitive function and to repair damage to the myelin coating that protects nerve cells.
One study, “The Effects of Working Memory Training on Brain Function, Structure, and Cognition in MS,” will look at whether two neuroscience-based training programs can improve MS patients’ cognitive function.
The second project is a three-year study on the potential of blocking enzymes called sulfatases to repair the myelin coating that is damaged in MS. The title of the project is “Targeting Extracellular Sulfatases to Accelerate Oligodendrocyte Progenitor-Based Myelin Repair and Regeneration.”
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