Author Archives: Joana Carvalho

Switch From Tysabri to Moderate-efficacy DMTs Linked to Worse Disability

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) switching from Tysabri (natalizumab) to moderate-efficacy disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are at a higher risk of showing signs of MS activity and experiencing disability progression than those switching to high-efficacy DMTs, a real-world study found. Based on these findings, the researchers are arguing that,…

New Zealand Expands Patient Access to Funded MS Treatments

New Zealand will expand patient access to a list of funded treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), starting on March 1. The government health agency, PHARMAC, will extend eligibility criteria to include MS patients with expanded disability status scale (EDSS) scores ranging from zero to six. EDSS is a validated…

Newly ID’d Group of Astrocytes Seen to Help Prevent Brain Inflammation

A newly identified subset of astrocytes — cells long thought to be responsible for simply providing nutrition and support to neurons — can prevent brain inflammation by promoting the destruction of pro-inflammatory immune T-cells, scientists report. Their work also found that the anti-inflammatory activity of this astrocyte subpopulation is dependent on…

New Primate Model Can Shed Light on Mechanisms Underlying Myelin Loss

A new primate model uncovered by researchers can help scientists understand the immune and inflammatory processes underlying the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans, a study reports. It was already known that Japanese macaques — also called snow monkeys — can spontaneously develop encephalomyelitis (JME), a disorder that…

GW Pharma Plans More Clinical Trials for Sativex

GW Pharmaceuticals is planning to continue recruiting patients into two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials of Sativex (nabiximols), an oral spray that contains cannabis extracts and is being investigated as a potential add-on therapy for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and spasticity. The company also…

Plegridy as Intramuscular Injection for RRMS Approved in Europe

The European Commission (EC) has approved a new, intramuscular formulation of Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) to treat people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). This new mode of administration — in which Plegridy is directly injected into the muscle, rather than under the skin (subcutaneously) — does…

Beetroot Peptide May Hold Promise in Treating MS, Similar Diseases

A small protein isolated from beetroot is able to block the activity of an enzyme called prolyl oligopeptidase (POP), which breaks down certain hormones and signaling molecules, and is thought to control the body’s inflammatory responses. According to the researchers, the discovery of this plant-derived protein may make possible…

Immune Treg Cells Seen to Ease Paralysis in Mouse Model of MS

Regulatory T-cells (Tregs) — immune cells that normally dampen immune and inflammatory responses by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory immune cells — enabled mice in a model of multiple sclerosis to partly recover from limb and tail paralysis, scientists reported. Tregs can do this by preventing a subtype of…

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