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How a Service Dog Changed This MS Patient’s Life

We’ve heard from many members of the MS community that service or therapy dogs can provide incredible comfort to patients and their families. From helping with mobility to reducing anxiety, these magical animals are sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. Here, we talk to 45-year-old Karin, who’s been living with…

Multiple Sclerosis News Today: A Look Back at 2017

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2017. It’s been a year full of ups and downs, and while there were definitely quite a few low moments, there were certainly quite a few highs. To celebrate the year that was,…

How a Service Dog Changed This MS Patient’s Life

We’ve heard from many members of the MS community that service or therapy dogs can provide incredible comfort to patients and their families. From helping with mobility to reducing anxiety, these magical animals are sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. Here, we talk to 45-year-old Karin, who’s been living with…

RebiSmart Usage Among Young, Less Disabled MS Patients May Improve with More Knowledge, Study Suggests

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients accurately report the use of the RebiSmart autoinjector to their neurologists, a questionnaire-based study has found. The Phase 4 noninterventional CORE study also suggests that being knowledgeable about RebiSmart is a key factor in improving usage in younger patients and those with lower disability levels.

4 Ways Ocrevus Can Improve Your Life

Ocrevus was approved by the FDA at the end of March but the buzz hasn’t died down.Though there is some trepidation, the MS community is incredibly excited about what the new “game-changing” medication can do for patients all across the country. Here are just a few ways that Ocrevus can…

Younger MS Patients Who Are Hospitalized May Be at Higher Risk of Quitting Treatment, Study Reports

MS patients who start treatment at a younger age, and whose condition requires hospitalization, are more likely to stop treatment, a Canadian study reports. The research, published in the journal Dovepress, dealt with the main reasons Canadian patients quit first-line injected disease-modifying therapies, or DMTs. It was titled “Persistence to disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis in a Canadian cohort.” DMTs can reduce MS activity, but patients must stick with them in order for them to be effective. “There is currently a paucity of clinical trial data on what happens to individuals when they discontinue DMT," the researchers wrote. "However, recent preliminary evidence from observational studies suggest increased relapses and disability in those who discontinue DMT." Researchers sought to identify MS patients at higher risk of discontinuing treatment. They looked at Manitoba Province's medical database to identify the types of drugs MS patients were taking, and for how long. The analysis covered 721 patients who received injected beta-interferons or Copaxone between 1996 and 2011, and whom doctors followed for at least a year. Teva manufactures Copaxone, whose generic name is glatiramer acetate. The mean age of the patients in the study was 37.6 years, and 74.2 percent were women. Researchers defined a discontinuation of a DMT as a 90-day or longer gap in treatment. A third of the patients were treated with beta-interferon-1b, either Bayer HealthCare's Betaferon/Betaseron or Novartis' Extavia. It was the first such therapy available in Manitoba. Twenty-three percent of patients received beta-interferon-1a, either Biogen's Avonex or Merck's Rebif. And 21 percent received Copaxone. The median time before a patient discontinued a DMT was 4.2 years. Although 62.6 percent of patients discontinued treatment at some point, 57.4 percent either reinitiated it or switched to a different DMT. Patients who were on DMT at least a year were more likely to stay with it than those who stopped in the first year. Importantly, patients who started a DMT at a younger age were more likely to stop taking it than older patients. “Our results are also consistent with previous work examining persistence for other chronic medication classes, including statins, antihypertensives, bisphosphonates, and oral antidiabetic agents, where the risk for discontinuing drugs declined in a linear fashion with age,” the researchers wrote. The team also found that 16 percent of patients had to be hospitalized overnight, with 3 percent of the cases due to MS-related complications. And these hospitalized patients were more likely to stop their DMT treatment earlier, the researchers said. Summing up, the team said: "Subjects who were younger when starting a DMT, had prior MS-related hospitalizations, were more recently diagnosed with MS, or had a greater lag time between their MS diagnosis and DMT initiation were more likely to discontinue therapy." Although "not all of the factors identified with discontinuing DMT" can be modified, "they may help practitioners enhance MS care by identifying individuals who may be at particular risk for DMT discontinuation," the researchers concluded.

Tysabri Shows Long-term Safety, Efficacy in Japanese RRMS Patients, Study Shows

A recent study has found Tysabri (natalizumab) treatment for two years to be efficient and safe in Japanese patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The study, “Safety and Efficacy of Natalizumab in Japanese Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Open-Label Extension Study of a Phase 2 Trial,” appeared in the journal…

How a Service Dog Changed This MS Patient’s Life

We’ve heard from many members of the MS community that service or therapy dogs can provide incredible comfort to patients and their families. From helping with mobility to reducing anxiety, these magical animals are sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. Here, we talk to 45-year-old Karin, who’s been living with…

How to Live Your Best Life With a Chronic Illness

If you’re living with a chronic illness, it’s easy to slip into a malaise and feel sorry for yourself. This isn’t a helpful state of mind and it potentially means you’re missing out on life. In this video from NewLifeOutlook, Anna Scanlon shares her five…

4 Things to Consider Before Getting a Service Dog

Having a service dog can greatly enhance the life of someone living with a chronic disease. They allow patients to regain some of their independence by helping with small everyday tasks like opening and closing doors, fetching meds, acting as a prop or support as their owner stands, switching on lights and attracting attention…

What the World Is Saying About Ocrevus

It’s been four weeks since the FDA approved the new MS drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). From patients to doctors to researchers, here’s what the world is saying about the approval—and what it means for the future treatment of PPMS and RRMS. “I’m very happy I went on ocrelizumab. I love that I…

4 Ways Ocrevus Can Improve Your Life

It’s been less than a month since Ocrevus was approved by the FDA, and the buzz hasn’t died down. Though there is some trepidation, the MS community is incredibly excited about what the new “game-changing” medication can do for patients all across the country. Here are just a few…

Dan Says Treasure Your Caregiving Hero

Caregivers are in the spotlight during MS Awareness Month and, as it draws to a close, one man with multiple sclerosis is calling for everyone with the disease to recognize them. Dan Melfi, who lives in the…

Multiple Sclerosis in Mother Increases Chance of Children Having ADHD, Study Suggests

Mothers with chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, have a higher risk of having children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a Norwegian study. The findings were reported in a study titled “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Offspring of Mothers With Inflammatory and Immune System Diseases”…

Benign MS: Is It Real or a Myth?

What is benign MS? Does it even exist? Certainly it is not one of the types of the disease often listed as making up the multiple sclerosis family. It is a term that is surrounded by controversy,…

Columnist’s Novel About MS Recalls Her Memories of Grandmother

Editor’s note: Our IBD columnist, Judy Walters, will have a new book out Tuesday in which the central character has multiple sclerosis. Here, she remembers how MS affected her own family during her childhood. I was only 10 when my grandmother died, but I remember so much about her. I remember…

MS Awareness Month: How You Can Help

March is MS Awareness Month, and while we should be raising awareness all year round, it’s a good reminder to get more involved in the community and help out in whatever ways we can. Every little bit helps. Awareness results in more fundraising efforts, which means more dollars, which means…

Ocrevus: Counting Down to Expected FDA Approval

There is now less than a month until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve Ocrevus, generic name ocrelizumab, for use as a therapy for multiple sclerosis. Clinical trials have shown Genentech’s drug to be a promising therapy for relapsing MS and, significantly,…

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

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