MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Predicting MS Progression, MS Links to Other Diseases, Cladribine, Diet Discussions

MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Predicting MS Progression, MS Links to Other Diseases, Cladribine, Diet Discussions

MS_Wire_Ed_Tobias

Brain Iron Levels Correlate with MS Progression, Disability Risk, Study Shows

Currently, doctors measure shrinkage in the brain as a way to predict physical and cognitive decline in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). But it takes a long time to see this brain atrophy on a standard MRI. Now, researchers think they’re on to a faster test: Using a special magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to measure the amount of iron in parts of the brain.

Evaluating the local differences in iron accumulation in the deep gray matter of the brain using a special MRI technique may help identify MS patients at greater risk for disease progression and disability, a study reports.

The study, “Brain Iron by Using Quantitative MRI Is Associated with Disability in Multiple Sclerosis,” was published in the journal Radiology.

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Other Conditions’ Symptoms May Foretell Onset of MS, Canadian Data Suggest

Here’s another study that’s aimed at predicting the course of MS. In this case, researchers think that other diseases may sound an alarm that MS may be just down the road for a patient.

Before being diagnosed with MS, many patients report a history of other conditions such as migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and mood and anxiety disorders. According to a new study, these symptoms could be warning signs of MS and help in its early detection.

“Prodrome” is a set of early symptoms indicating the onset of disease. There is an accepted prodrome for several other neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Now, researchers from The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, conducted the first study to identify the prodrome for MS.

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Progressive MS Patients with Considerable Disability Ably Treated with Cladribine, UK Case Study Reports

This is a study of only two MS patients, so it’s far from scientific. However, it adds weight to other reports that Mavenclad (cladribine) can reduce MS progression and that it can be effective in people who’ve moved from relapsing to progressive MS.

Cladribine may be effective in preventing disability progression and reducing damage to nerve cells in people with progressive forms of MS, researchers suggest, based on a case study of two such patients given the injectable treatment.

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MS Patients Need More Advice from Physicians on Dietary Guidelines, Study Shows

Has your doctor ever discussed diet as an MS therapy? I don’t think mine ever has. This very small Australian study indicates that talking about diet is uncommon between docs and MS patients, even though some diets seem to be beneficial. I wonder why. Are doctors too focused on medications and therapy?

Health professionals often don’t discuss the importance of following national dietary guidelines with their MS patients, causing them to turn to other sources on the internet, which may advise potentially harmful diets with serious consequences, according to an Australian study.

The study, “Dietary responses to a multiple sclerosis diagnosis: a qualitative study,” was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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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.

Ed Tobias Editor
Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.
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Ed Tobias Editor
Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.
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