MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Ballet and MS, Salt and the Immune System, How Tecfidera May Work, Doctor-Patient Communications

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by Ed Tobias |

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Exercise Program Based on Ballet Improves Motor Control and Balance in MS Patients, Study Reports

It makes sense. Yoga helps multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, as do Pilates and simple stretching. So why shouldn’t ballet? After all, it requires similar balance and motor control. This study only involved eight patients. I hope they didn’t spend too much money on it.

A nontraditional exercise program that incorporates movements used in ballet was found to improve motor control and balance in women with MS, leading researchers to recommend dance movements be part of such interventions for MS patients.

The study, “Targeted ballet program mitigates ataxia and improves balance in females with mild-to-moderate multiple sclerosis,” one of the first to evaluate ballet movements in MS, was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It was recently published in the journal Plos One.


Salt-rich Diet Appears to Trigger Inflammation and Promote Autoimmune Disease by Impact on T-cells, Study Reports

This laboratory study seems a lot more useful to me than the one about ballet. Researchers have already seen evidence that high-salt diets disrupt the workings of some regulatory T-cells, the cells that maintain stability in the immune system. This study goes a step further, describing how this disruption may occur. That, hopefully, will lead to new ways to prevent that disruption.


Study Sheds New Light on Tecfidera’s Inhibitory Mechanism of Action

Have you wondered how Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) holds MS at bay? This study lifts the curtain, a bit, on how that disease-modifying therapy does what it does. That knowledge could lead the way to the development of similar treatments.

MS treatment Tecfidera binds to a specific amino acid in key enzymes to inhibit their activity, according to a study that sheds more light on this therapy’s little-known mechanism of action.

This newly identified regulatory mechanism may lead to the discovery of new compounds that could be used for treatment, scientists suggest in the study, titled “Dimethyl fumarate is an allosteric covalent inhibitor of the p90 ribosomal S6 kinases” and published in the journal Nature Communications.


Study Highlights Need for Better Engagement Between MS Patients and Healthcare Providers

One more study to round things out. This one supports something that I’ve been preaching for a long time: Patients and doctors need to do a better job of communicating. The study reports that MS patients may have a poor idea of when to call their neurologist and that they may not call with a problem because the doctor seems unresponsive.

MS relapses can be challenging for some patients, and better engagement is needed between patients and their healthcare providers, a study focused on patient experiences has found.

The study, titled “Relapse prevalence, symptoms, and health care engagement: patient insights from the Multiple Sclerosis in America 2017 survey,” offers insights into the relapse prevalence, symptoms, and engagement with healthcare professionals from patients with MS who responded to the Multiple Sclerosis in America 2017 survey. It was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.


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.


Mandy Harbison avatar

Mandy Harbison

Thanks for all the reading/researching/reporting that u do, but I’m so sick of reading about ‘how to prevent MS’ . I have this fking disease (secondary progressive), it’s getting worse, and I JUST WANT A CURE!


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