MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: MRI Dyes, Lipids and MS, Gilenya Advisory, Possible Stem Cell Trial

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by Ed Tobias |

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Artificial Intelligence May Help Reduce Dosage of Gadolinium in MRIs, Researchers Suggest

There’s been concern recently about the accumulation of gadolinium in the brains of people who’ve had MRIs. Gadolinium is the dye that’s used to provide the “contrast” that can highlight lesions in the brain that might not otherwise be seen. This research suggests that by using artificial intelligence techniques to tweak MRI images, it may be possible to reduce the amount of contrast agent to only 10 percent of what’s currently used and still highlight those lesions.

Artificial intelligence can help reduce the amount of gadolinium needed as a contrast agent in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, preventing the agent’s potential toxicity when accumulated in body tissue, including the brain and bones, each time it is used, researchers suggest.

The finding is of particular importance for patients with health conditions that require regular MRI assessments such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

The data were reported in the study “Evaluation of Deep-Learning-Based Technology for Reducing Gadolinium Dosage in Contrast-Enhanced MRI Exams,” presented at the 104th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Nov. 25-30 in Chicago.


High Lipid Levels Associated with Increased Disability, Inflammation in RRMS Patients, Study Shows

Lipids go hand in hand with cholesterol levels. So, as a guy whose high cholesterol levels have been controlled by statin medications for years, this interests me. Would my disability be higher if I hadn’t been controlling my HDL and LDL levels? Or, did my high cholesterol levels trigger my MS in the first place?

High levels of certain lipids, or fat, in the blood are linked to increased disability scores and high levels of pro-inflammatory markers in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients, a small study reports.

The study, “Lipoprotein markers associated with disability from multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


FDA Warns of Rare Risk of Severe Worsening in MS Disability After Stopping Gilenya Use

This is an important warning about a problem that’s associated with Gilenya. But everyone should read the entire advisory, not just the headline. Don’t just depend on social media for information about this. Discuss any concerns with your neurologist.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety alert, warning that people with relapsing multiple sclerosis who stop using Gilenya (fingolimod) may experience worsening of their disease beyond that of when starting the medicine or while taking it.

Reported cases of such increases in MS disability upon stopping treatment are rare, the FDA notes in its Nov. 20 alert, but can result in permanent disability to patients.


Phase 2 Trial of NurOwn Stem Cell Therapy in Progressive MS Planned for US, BrainStorm Announces

This is something to keep an eye on. The FDA hasn’t yet approved this stem cell trial, so participants aren’t yet being sought. But let’s hope the trial using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is given the go-ahead. Stem cell therapy is being used in other countries to treat MS. While there are risks, there are also many reports of successful treatments. It’s time to move ahead in the U.S.

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics is planning to launch a Phase 2 clinical trial in the U.S. to evaluate the safety and activity of its lead cell therapy candidate, NurOwn, in people with progressive MS.

The company announced that it has submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA requesting to start the trial. A separate Phase 3 study of NurOwn in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients is underway and enrolling.


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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