Author Archives: Ed Tobias

Humpty Dumpty and My MS

I’ve met Humpty Dumpty, and he is me. I made that discovery the other night when I had a bad fall. It wasn’t off a wall; it was just off a chair, but it felt like I’d tumbled off Humpty’s high ledge. It shouldn’t have happened. I’ve lived with MS…

MS Is a Pain, and Doctors Should Know It

Dear Doctor, Why is it that you, or at least some of your colleagues, think that multiple sclerosis isn’t painful? Did you skip the med school class where they discussed MS? Are you not a neurologist, or are you a neurologist who doesn’t specialize in MS? Whatever the reason, this “MS…

Diets and Supplements: Do They Really Help Your MS?

When I read online posts from people who treat their multiple sclerosis (MS) with vitamins and supplements, I wonder how many of us do that. And if these supplements really help. The people at the Accelerated Cure Project, which surveys those living with MS about things such as this,…

MS Meds Lead the Pack as Costs of Neuro Medications Rise

Ouch! The out-of-pocket cash that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) lay out for their medications increased 20-fold between 2004 and 2016. That information comes from a study recently published on the Neurology website. Looked at another way, monthly out-of-pocket costs for MS meds rose from about $15 to about $309 over 12…

A Judge Takes a Swing at an Insurance Company’s Denials

Robert Scola Jr. is a federal judge in Miami, and he’s just recused himself from a case involving the UnitedHealthcare (UHC) insurance company. The case is one of two filed in Miami over the last two months claiming that UHC has improperly denied coverage for a specific cancer…

Is It OK for Your Doctor to Hug You?

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been in some hot water recently because of his habit of hugging some of the people he meets. More generally, in today’s society, some of the casual social touching that once went on, particularly in the workplace, has become out of bounds.

Are Medical Mouse Studies Worth Reporting?

People who cover medical issues often write about mouse studies. These stories can regularly be found on traditional news outlets, both broadcast and print, as well as online platforms. That includes the website on which you’re reading this column. I’m one of the mouse study writers, though I try to…

Immunocompromised? Watch Out for the C. Auris Fungus.

Most healthy people probably don’t have to worry about a fungus called Candida auris, or simply C. auris. But if your immune system is compromised, it’s a different story. Health officials say C. auris should be of special concern to people whose immune systems are not at full strength,…

3 Strategies for Dealing with the High Costs of Medications

  It’s tough paying for medications. Whether they’re for multiple sclerosis (MS) or another illness, Americans are having a hard time coming up with the cash needed to cover the cost of their meds. Many people are developing workarounds and compromises to deal with the problem. And in some…

Mayzent Joins the MS Medication Arsenal, But I Have Questions

As you might have heard, a disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for patients with active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) was approved a few days ago. That’s great news. A medication targeting SPMS is overdue, but it could be better. The DMT is Mayzent (siponimod), a tablet that’s taken…

MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Reaction to SPMS DMT Approval, Ozanimod’s FDA Application, Caregiving Partnerships, a New Preventive Medication?

MS Patient Groups React Favorably to Mayzent Approval, But Question Therapy’s Price Tag The approval of this medication is very good news. However, as the headline indicates, it comes with a relatively hefty cost. It’s approved for active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), and many of us have SPMS…

Some Thoughts About Controlling Your MS Bladder

There are two types of people with MS: Those who have bladder problems and those who will have them. That may be an oversimplification but I’d be willing to bet that you, like me, have had that gotta-gotta-go problem too many times to count. Sometimes you make it…

DMT Choice for Your MS Is Your Decision

About 15 disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are available to treat MS these days. So, choosing which to use can be daunting. I’ve been treated with four DMTs since I was first prescribed Avonex (interferon beta-1a) back in 1996. Each time I’ve switched treatments, my neurologist has suggested a number of…

Pediatric MS Can Be ‘Diagnostic Odyssey’

A post in one of the MS social media groups I follow recently asked whether kids can have MS. The writer was worried about her 3-year-old. One commenter replied that her son was diagnosed when he was 9. But, she wrote, his symptoms actually began to appear when he…

Are MS Patients Using Too Many Medications?

Have you ever heard of the word “polypharmacy”? I saw the word for the first time today. It’s generally defined as taking many medications together. There’s been debate over how many is “many,” but a number generally used is five or more. That describes me. I take…

Two Different Approaches to Providing Online MS Help

I received an email recently from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the U.S. promoting a searchable database of “credible doctors and resources.” A few days later, I happened to run across another online multiple sclerosis (MS) information service hosted by the HealthCare Journey website. They call it…

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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