Author Archives: Emily Malcolm

Could My Child Have MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective coating that surrounds nerve fibers and helps them function. Damage to this protective coating, called myelin, means the nerve fibers are fragile and easily damaged. MS in children, or pediatric MS, is…

Fasting and MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the protein coating that protects nerve fibers from damage. It is unknown what triggers the immune system’s attack, but many MS treatments are targeted at reducing inflammation to curb the activity of the immune system.

CBD and Multiple Sclerosis: What You Need to Know

Topics related to the use and effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana are of increasing interest to many people, including those with multiple sclerosis (MS). A web-based survey hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with results published in 2017, indicated that as many as…

Is SPMS Going to Affect My Life Expectancy?

Receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive neurological disorder, can be frightening. One of the first things patients ask is — what does this mean for me? Will my life expectancy drop with this diagnosis? What is life expectancy? Life expectancy is a “best guess” of…

SPMS and Diet: What Foods Can Help?

Many treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) are targeted at reducing inflammation, thereby slowing progression of the autoimmune disease. An anti-inflammatory diet also may slow disease progression, as well as enhance the positive effects of anti-inflammatory medications. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the protein coat that surrounds nerve fibers. That coating protects the nerves and facilitates the propagation of nervous signals. Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is the second stage of MS, which follows relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Appropriate exercise and healthy eating habits are important for all people with MS. What is an anti-inflammatory diet? An anti-inflammatory diet is a plan for healthy eating that does not contain foods that are high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates — found in white bread — sugary desserts, soda, and red meat. Foods that are part of an anti-inflammatory diet include tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, fatty fish — including salmon, tuna, and sardines — and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. How can an anti-inflammatory diet help me? It has been proposed that an anti-inflammatory diet may be able to help slow disease progression in autoimmune disorders. Clinical trials are underway to test this hypothesis in patients with different types of MS. Although several studies have been conducted, it is difficult for many reasons to draw broad conclusions as to the benefits of diet. For example, many studies have not included good controls and have relied on patient-reported information. What has been shown, however, is that diets with inflammatory potential may be involved in the physiological processes associated with neurodegenerative diseases. How should I start an anti-inflammatory diet? Before making any big changes, it's always a good idea to talk to your physician and a registered dietitian. They can help you figure out foods to include and avoid, while making sure you are getting the nutrition and vitamins you need.

FAQs About Multiple Sclerosis

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) often leaves patients and their families with many unanswered questions. It can be hard to find information, connect with other patients, and find support. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about MS: What is MS? MS is an autoimmune disease —…

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 flash briefings give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

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