Author Archives: Ed Tobias

Would You Share Your Info with an MS App?

A smartphone app has been designed to collect lots of information related to your multiple sclerosis – things such as physical and cognitive test results, MRI images, and even genetic data. The hope is that via the app researchers will be able to collect a lot of patient data…

An MS Garden Grows in Derby

Those of us with multiple sclerosis know how difficult it is to describe our journey. Words frequently are inadequate for that task. But, at Derby College in England, horticulture students and their instructors have found a way. They’ve teamed up with local MS Society branches to create a 30-foot-by-40-foot…

3 Travel Tips for Easier Flying with MS

It’s the time of year for travel here in the U.S. Graduations, weddings and vacations are on all of our calendars. Air travel, in particular, can be a real pain for someone with a handicap such as multiple sclerosis. Security, aircraft seats and legroom are all becoming increasingly…

Cholesterol Medication Shows Promise as MS Treatment

I’ve been taking a statin drug for years to keep my cholesterol low, and it’s doing a really good job. Now, there’s hope that this class of drug also might be useful for MS patients. A major trial in the U.K. is testing the drug simvastatin (used to control…

About America’s Healthcare Puzzle

There’s been lots of chatter on social media since the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure last week that’s intended to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) and replace it with a new healthcare law. Lots of us with serious medical conditions are: a) worried, b) angry,…

NYC Subways: A Tough Ride With MS

Have you ever been on a New York City subway? I grew up in the Big Apple, and I used to love riding the subway as a kid. I’d travel all over the city without a problem. Not so today. Not so since MS changed my track.

Small Study Shows Unexpected Reversal of Some MS Symptoms

I don’t usually write about drug studies, especially ones that are tiny and preliminary. But an unexpected result has peaked my interest in this one. Researchers at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia report that half of the progressive MS patients in their study of…

Need Help Paying for Your MS Drug?

With last month’s approval of the multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus, I’ve again heard the plea “But how can I afford it?” Ocrevus carries a price tag of about $65,000 a year. That’s not high compared to some other MS drugs, but it still can mean a higher…

Ocrevus: Should I Switch?

There was much fanfare when the multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) finally was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week. Perhaps a little too much fanfare? For example, a story broadcast on the NBC Nightly News focused on a woman, apparently a participant in an…

My MS Is Getting to Be a Pain, Literally

For most of the 36 years since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I’ve not been bothered by pain. Just lucky, I guess. Until last month. Suddenly, I’ve developed pain in both hips and I don’t know why. The pain is most intense when I first put my feet on…

Using Tattoo Art to Make a Statement About MS

There won’t be a lot of my words in this column but there will be lot of pictures. The column is devoted to some very personal multiple sclerosis art: Tattoos. Most of these “tats” contain an orange ribbon, the symbol for MS awareness. Some, as you’ll see, are a…

Alexa, Tell Me About MS

Alexa, Amazon’s little voice-activated information box, has just received a multiple sclerosis infusion. As part of MS Awareness Month, fifty facts about MS have been loaded into Alexa’s memory. If a user says “Alexa, start MS Awareness” the system will respond with a random MS fact. (And a short…

Is Your Doctor’s Business Interfering With Your Treatment?

One of my favorite movie lines appears in “Jerry Maguire.” Sports-agent Maguire is trying to convince one of his football-player clients to stay with him and the client keeps insisting: “Show me the money.” I got to thinking of that line the other evening, while reading a Facebook post…

MS Advocates Hope Better Data Will Mean Better Care

The practice of collecting data about how we MS patients go about living our lives, and then using that data to improve our patient care, seems to be gathering steam. In the European Union a project called Real World Evidence Data, or RWE, is working outside of the…

Know Your MS Treatment Options and Minimize Your Regrets

A few weeks ago I wrote a column titled, “Why Can’t Some MS Docs Communicate With Their Patients?” It’s very unlikely that two doctors from the Cleveland Clinic — Mikkael A. Sekeres and Timothy D. Gilligan — read that column. But they, too, have written a piece about a…

FAQs About the Bioness ‘L300 Go’ for Foot Drop

Earlier this month Bioness announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had cleared its new “L300 Go” functional electronic stimulator (FES). It’s an upgrade of the original “L300” that I’ve been using for more than five years. Without the “L300” strapped to my left leg…

Stimulating Neurons to Help with Problem-Solving

One of the most troubling symptoms of multiple sclerosis, especially for those of us who are still working, is “brain fog” — not being able to concentrate … not feeling “sharp” when working on a task or solving problems. So I was interested to read about a new…

I Have MS. Do I Tell the Kids?

It’s a question that nearly every MS patient faces. When do I tell my children about my multiple sclerosis, and what’s the best way to do it? In early January I wrote a column about sharing an MS diagnosis. It was prompted by a reader who had told…

MS Drug Costs: The Elephant in the Examination Room

A lot of factors go into our decisions when we select the drug we’re going to use to fight our multiple sclerosis. How well will it work? What are the possible side effects and how serious could they be? How will using the drug (taking a pill, giving myself a…

Stem Cell Treatment for MS: Can’t We Move Any Faster?

There is some good news about stem cell therapy. A just-published study concludes that one form of human stem cell therapy is more effective at treating multiple sclerosis than the best of the MS medications being used currently. The not-so-good news is that approval of this…

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