Marisa Wexler, MS, senior science writer —

Marisa holds a Master of Science in cellular and molecular pathology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied novel genetic drivers of ovarian cancer. Her areas of expertise include cancer biology, immunology, and genetics, and she has worked as a science writing and communications intern for the Genetics Society of America.

Articles by Marisa Wexler

No Link Between MS Severity, Vitamin D-related Mutations: Study

A number of genetic variations related to vitamin D metabolism were not significantly associated with the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a recent study. The study, “Role of Multiple Vitamin D-Related Polymorphisms in Multiple Sclerosis Severity: Preliminary Findings,” was published in Genes. In MS, the body’s immune…

Review Gives ‘Cautious Support’ to Childhood Trauma as MS Risk Factor

Most available studies suggest a connection between childhood trauma and multiple sclerosis (MS), from earlier symptom onset to potentially poorer outcomes, but more research is needed to understand this association, a review paper highlights. While several high-quality studies have been published, the scientists noted “considerable heterogeneity [variability] in methodology, including inconsistencies…

Heart Medication Digoxin Helps With Remyelination in Early Study

Digoxin, an approved medication for certain heart conditions, promoted the repair of myelin — the protective sheath around nerve fibers that is progressively lost in multiple sclerosis — in mouse models of the disease, a study reports. Combining digoxin with an experimental immune-modulating therapy was more effective at promoting myelin…

Natalizumab, Tysabri Biosimilar, Up for Approval in Europe

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has agreed to review a request to approve Polpharma Biologics‘ biosimilar natalizumab for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). This marks the first time the regulatory agency accepted a marketing authorization application for a biosimilar of Tysabri, an approved MS treatment. “The acceptance…

EMBOLD Study of ATA188 in Progressive MS Is Given Go-ahead

An independent committee of experts has recommended that the Phase 2 portion of the EMBOLD clinical trial continue as planned without a sample size adjustment, following an analysis of safety and effectiveness data. The trial is testing Atara Biotherapeutics‘ experimental medication ATA188 in progressive forms of multiple…

Researchers Distinguish Remyelinated Brain Lesions Via MRI

An MRI technique called quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) can be used to accurately identify remyelinated brain lesions in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a research team has discovered. Remyelinated lesions are those in which the myelin sheath — the protective coating around nerve fibers that is progressively lost…

Proteins Called Tenascins Found to Block Myelin Repair in Mouse Model

Proteins called tenascins block the regeneration of myelin by modulating the activity of oligodendrocytes, myelin-making cells of the central nervous system, a study in mouse models indicates. “Our research results open up new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis,” Juliane Bauch, a researcher at Ruhr-University…

T-cells in Bone Marrow Work to Drive Inflammatory MS Attacks

Unusual growth in an immune cell class called myeloid cells is evident in the bone marrow of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and these cells likely contribute to the inflammation that drives the disease, according to a new study. Experiments in mice suggest that myelin-reactive T-cells can migrate to the bone…

Vidofludimus Calcium Safely Reduced RRMS Brain Lesions

Treatment with the experimental immune-modulating therapy vidofludimus calcium reduced disease activity on MRI scans in adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), data from the Phase 2 EMPhASIS clinical trial shows. Top-line results from EMPhASIS were reported by the therapy’s developer Immunic Therapeutics in 2020. Researchers at…

2nd SPMS Patient Sees Clinical Gains With Foralumab Treatment

Treatment with foralumab nasal spray resulted in marked clinical improvements after three months in the second secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) patient treated under a single-patient access program. The findings were generally consistent with those seen in the first SPMS patient and supported a decision by the U.S. Food…

MS Tied to 75% Increased Risk of Mortality in US Study

The overall risk of death is about 75% higher for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) than in the general population, according to a new study. “The association was independent of demographic, socioeconomic variables, lifestyle factors, baseline diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer status,” researchers wrote. The study,…

Cancer Therapy Topotecan Could Be Repurposed to Treat MS: Study

A medication currently approved to treat certain kinds of cancer, called topotecan, could be repurposed for treating neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) because it reduces the inflammatory activity of immune cells called microglia. That’s according to the study, “Myeloid cell-specific topoisomerase 1 inhibition using DNA origami…

New Scale May Better Assess MS Changes, Therapy Response in Mice

A new scoring system might more precisely evaluate disease development, severity, and treatment response in a commonly used mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS) known as the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis or EAE model, scientists report. This scoring system, called “I AM D EAE,” was described in the study, “…

Ponvory Reduces Risk of Worsening Disability Over Placebo

Treatment with Ponvory (ponesimod) significantly reduces the risk of worsening disability or new relapses for people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with a placebo, according to a new analysis funded by the therapy’s maker Janssen. The study, “Comparative Efficacy of Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis Therapies:…

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

Illustration of doctor an patient talked
We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

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.

Listen Here