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

Oct. 4 Online Conference Offers Latest Insights Into Progressive MS

An upcoming conference focused on progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) will offer the latest insights about the underlying biology of the disease, and treatment and clinical strategies in development. The one-day conference, “Emerging Research & Trial Strategies for Progressive Multiple Sclerosis,” is taking place virtually on Oct. 4,and is…

Cognitive Rehab ‘Effective, Low-risk’ in Treating Difficulties Due to MS

Cognitive rehabilitation is an effective therapy for cognitive problems brought on by multiple sclerosis (MS), a review study highlights. “Clinicians should consider this low-cost, low-risk, yet effective treatment approach for their patients,” its researchers wrote. The study, “Neurological update: cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis,” was published…

Cancer Researchers’ Discovery May Benefit MS Studies

In an unexpected discovery, scientists working to understand the biological underpinnings of brain tumors found that increasing the activity of a protein receptor called PDGFRA reduces the production of myelin — the fatty coating that is lost in multiple sclerosis (MS) — in the nervous system. “We saw that…

Tecfidera May Reduce Relapse Rate More Than Other RRMS Therapies

First-line treatment with Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) leads to a lower rate of relapses in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) than does treatment with Aubagio (teriflunomide) or injectable immunomodulators, according to an analysis of insurance data from France. “These data will be useful to feed into physician…

MS Tied to Increased Risk After Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

People who develop colon cancer are more likely to die in the first year, from that cancer or other causes, if they also have multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study indicates. MS disability seems to contribute to this association. “These results warrant further investigation to determine what factors may…

Anti-CD20 Therapies Show Similar Safety, Efficacy in RRMS

Anti-CD20 antibody therapies that target B-cells are highly effective for reducing the risk of relapses in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a new analysis confirms. The analysis did not find any significant differences in efficacy or safety among the anti-CD20 therapies currently approved to treat RRMS, though…

Vumerity Recommended for EU Approval as RRMS Treatment

A committee of the European Medicines Agency is recommending that Vumerity (diroximel fumarate) be approved as an oral treatment for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in the European Union. The opinion, from the agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), will now be sent…

Risk of MS Relapse Not Increased by COVID-19 Vaccine, Study Finds

Getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 does not increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses in the two months following vaccination, according to a new study. The results support recommending COVID-19 vaccines for people with MS, its researchers said. “The incidence of relapses in the 2 months before and…

Serious Infections in Adolescence Linked to Increased MS Risk

Experiencing serious infections during adolescence is tied to an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life, but those occurring in childhood don’t increase MS risk, according to a new Swedish study. The study also found that certain types of infections, especially those that affect the central…

New Research Project Will Study Nerve Cell-Glia Communication

A new research project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to better understand how different types of cells in the nervous system — specifically neurons and glia cells — communicate with each other and ultimately affect both motor and non-motor functions. Its findings may have important implications…

Smartphone App Floodlight Found to Reliably Measure MS Data

A smartphone-based app called Floodlight can reliably assess cognition, arm and hand function, and walking abilities in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new analyses. “Detection of progression onset or worsening is critical to optimally adapt the therapeutic strategy” patients are using to treat the neurodegenerative disease,…

Trial Will Test Ocrevus on Arm, Hand Function in PPMS

A Phase 3 clinical trial testing the effect of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) on upper limb disability progression in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) is recruiting participants. The trial, called O’HAND (NCT04035005), expects to enroll approximately 1,000 adults with PPMS, ages 18 to 65, at more than…

Probiotics Likely To Be of Help With RRMS, Meta-analysis Finds

Probiotic supplements could ease disability, lessen depression, and improve overall health in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), according to an analysis of four randomized clinical trials. Physicians working with these patients might recommend “confirmed probiotic supplements” to help manage “MS concerns,” its scientists wrote, while noting that studies…

Many MS Patients Report Mistreatment by Caregivers

More than half of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who require an informal caregiver have experienced abuse or mistreatment by that caregiver, according to a study conducted in California. The study, “Validity and Reliability of the Scale to Report Emotional Stress Signs–Multiple Sclerosis (STRESS-MS) in Assessing…