Inês Martins, PhD, science editor —

Inês holds a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where she specialized in blood vessel biology, blood stem cells, and cancer. Before that, she studied cell and molecular biology and worked as a research fellow at multiple institutes. In addition to several college awards, Inês won the Pfizer Basic Research Award in 2012 for a research paper. She also has a graduate degree in data science.

Articles by Inês Martins

Bile Acid Supplements May Ease Symptoms of Progressive MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have lower than usual levels of molecules called bile acids circulating in their blood, a  study found. These molecules, produced in the liver to aid fat absorption in the gut, also appear to block inflammation and nerve cell damage in the brain. Oral treatment with …

Gilenya-like Therapy Shows Benefit in Secondary Progressive MS Patients in Phase 3 Trial

Patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) who were treated with BAF312 (siponimod), a sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) inhibitor, in a Phase 3 clinical trial showed a  significantly reduced risk for disability progression compared to placebo, Novartis recently announced. BAF312 is a selective modulator of specific types of the S1P receptor. This receptor is…

Only 47% of Primary Care Doctors in England ‘Confident’ in Treating MS Patients

General practitioners (GPs) in England lack confidence in initially assessing and referring onward people with neurological symptoms, especially those with multiple sclerosis, and believe they could benefit from better training in identifying and managing neurological patients. One result, according to a report published by the Neurological Alliance, titled “Neurology and primary care: improving the…

MS Progression Slower in People Who Begin Betaseron Therapy at First Signs of Disease, 11-Year Study Says

Relapsing multiple sclerosis patients who begin taking Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) immediately after the first MS-related neurologic symptoms appear may realize slower disease progression than those who delay treatment, according to a study evaluating the therapy’s effects over a decade in patients enrolled in a Phase 3 clinical trial. The study, “The 11-year long-term follow-up…

Improving Confidence of RRMS Patients May Enhance Quality of Life, Decrease Depression, Study Finds

Increasing a person’s confidence that they can complete tasks and reach goals in specific situations may benefit patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). In a new study, researchers used an intensive three-day social cognitive treatment, called Can Do, to increase patients’ self-efficacy, which resulted in long lasting improvements in their health-related…

Tysabri’s Success in Impairing the Immune System in RRMS May Be Source of Its Problems

Although Tysabri (natalizumab) is a highly effective in treating patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), some may develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). According to a new study, this occurs because Tysabri impairs immune surveillance in the central nervous system and reactivates the latent John Cunningham polyomavirus (JCV). The study, “Natalizumab Affects…

Best First-Line Treatment for Aggressive MS May Be Equally Aggressive Immunotherapies

Patients with aggressive onset multiple sclerosis, characterized by a rapidly progressing disease course and accumulation of disability, may benefit from early aggressive therapies instead of the escalation approach commonly given multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, according to researchers at Weill-Cornell Medical College. Their article, titled “A study of patients with…

Study of Potential Therapy for Relapsing MS That Targets B-Cells Now Recruiting Patients in US

Patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) are being recruited for a clinical trial evaluating an experimental monoclonal antibody called ublituximab, the National MS Society announced in a recent news release. The study, being conducted at seven U.S. sites, will enroll at least 24 patients, but this number can go up to 100. MS is considered to be…

Side Effects and Convenience of MS Therapies Seen to Determine Patients’ Adherence to Them

Despite the existence of several disease-modifying drugs for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), patients’ satisfaction plays a critical role in their adherence to treatment. Improving adherence should be a major concern in the clinic to prevent patients from evolving to more debilitating stages of the disease. A team of researchers in Germany report that side…

ICER Draft Report Evaluating Therapies for RRMS Now Open for Public Comment

The Institute of Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) released the early draft of a paper intended to inform a future report evaluating the effectiveness and value of disease-modifying therapies for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The paper, called a draft scoping document, is titled “Disease Modifying Therapies for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Effectiveness and…

1st Potential Therapy for Primary Progressive MS, Ocrelizumab, Under Priority Review by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving priority review to a request to approve Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) as a treatment for both forms of multiple sclerosis, the drug’s developer, Genentech, announced. If the company’s Biologics License Application (BLA) is approved, Ocrevus will become the first drug able to treat patients with either relapsing or…

Fingolimod (Gilenya) Seen to Promote Peripheral Nerve Regeneration in Mice, Aiding Remyelination

Fingolimod (Gilenya), a drug approved for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to prevent neuroinflammation, may also help these patients by directly enhancing nerve regeneration and increasing myelination in a way that is partly independent of its anti-inflammatory properties. The study reporting this finding, “Fingolimod promotes peripheral nerve regeneration…

Study Finds PoNS Neurostimulator Plus Physical Therapy of Benefit to Advanced MS Patients

Helius Medical Technologies announced results of a pilot study, demonstrating the benefits of PoNS Therapy — a combination of the investigational Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS) device with physical therapy — in patients with advanced multiple sclerosis (MS). Specifically, the treatment was seen to improve both patients’ quality of life, and physical and…