MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Online Meditation, Coordination of MS Care, a Walking Drug Test, Stopping Your DMT

Ed Tobias avatar

by Ed Tobias |

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Online Meditation Course Seen to Help MS Patients Manage Symptoms in Clinical Trial

Can someone use a website to learn how to meditate, and then do it well enough to have their MS symptoms improve? Well, maybe. This small study reports that patients who completed an online meditation course reported a significantly higher quality of life, lower depression and anxiety levels and fewer problems sleeping — compared with those in the control group —  after eight weeks of the therapy. However, these improvements disappeared six months later.

Online training in meditation based on mindfulness can improve the quality of life for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients while easing depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, a study conducted in Italy reports.

These findings add to the growing body of evidence that interventions able to improve overall well-being can help patients in managing their symptoms. But such benefits are likely not sustained if training is not practiced regularly.


MS Path 2 Care Program Aims to Empower Patients to Be Active in Healthcare Journey

Coordination between patients, doctors, family, and caregivers is something that’s absolutely necessary to top-notch medical care. It happens, but frequently only haphazardly. Now an MS nonprofit, a nonprofit that focuses on bringing patients and doctors together, and a medication company have created a website aimed at that goal. It’s one small step …

MS Path 2 Care, launched in late 2017, brings together the entire MS community — patients, their families, healthcare providers, and national advocacy groups. Its primary aim is shared decision-making between patients, their support partners, and their healthcare team, with the goal of developing enduring bonds between patients and care participants.


1st Patient Enrolls in Phase 3 Trial of ADS-5102 as Way of Improving Walking Ability, Adamas Announces

I used Ampyra (dalfampridine), which claims it can improve walking speed by about 15 percent for a few years. I think it did improve my speed, but it’s an expensive therapy that’s not always affordable, even with payment help from the medication company or a foundation. So, I’m pleased to see that a Phase 3 trial is starting for another walking medicine. Maybe it’ll give Ampyra some competition. 

A Phase 3 trial testing an oral once-a-day therapy — ADS-5102 (amantadine) extended-release capsules — in multiple sclerosis patients with walking difficulties has enrolled its first participant, Adamas Pharmaceuticals announced.

The multi-center, double-blind study (NCT03436199) will assess ADS-5102 in about 570 such patients at five sites across the U.S. Eligible patients are being recruited at sites in Colorado, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Washington.


Two Factors Lead to Better Outcomes when Disease-modifying Therapies Stopped, Study Finds

Can you permanently go off your DMT without it having a significant impact on the future course of your MS? This study reports that may depend on the type of your MS, your age, and whether it’s you or your doctor who makes that decision.

A lot of people with multiple sclerosis take disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) to reduce the inflammation associated with the disease — but in many patients, the treatments’ effectiveness wanes at a certain point.

When that occurs, the question is whether to stop taking these treatments, known as DMTs. A study reports that patients’ outcomes are better if they discontinue the treatments when they are over 60 years of age and when their doctors advise them to stop.


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.


Thomas M. Burgess avatar

Thomas M. Burgess

How could one be included in one of these type trials?

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

The best way to find out is to contact the researcher(s) conducting a specific trial. This information should be included in the full article. You can see that article by clicking on its headline in this column.

Melissa Snelling avatar

Melissa Snelling

I have been off medication for Ms since October 2017 so it's going on 7 months I am considered in remission no disease found on my brain scan last since last November only thing that bothers me is my walking ability so I would like to find out what I can do for that if it's not too expensive in drug use

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Melissa,

I'm not a doctor, just a patient, so I can only speak from my own experience.

First, a couple of questions. When you say you're "in remission," is that your opinion or is that what your doctor is telling you? Have you have an MRI or your spine as well as of your brain? Also, what meds were you on, and for how long?

MS symptoms can be caused by damage to myelin or by lesions along your spinal column as well as by lesions on the brain. Those along the spine can sometimes be difficult to spot on an MRI, but the ones along the spine are more likely to be the ones that impact your walking.

You can find a list of all of the drugs used to treat MS on the National MS Society website ( Most are used to keep the disease from progressing further. But one, Ampyra, is designed to increase walking speed. I've used it and it did help me a little. Naturally, it's expensive but, like most drug companies, Acorda has a program to help patients, who qualify, pay for Ampyra. You can get more info on their website (

Finally, you may be interested in raising your question on the new Patient Forums page that MS News Today has just begun. Just click "Forums" at the top of this website's home page.

Good luck.


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