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

Quick MRI Method May Reliably Detect Myelin Repair in People

A quick MRI-based method called SyMRI may be useful in future clinical trials to test experimental myelin-repairing therapies in diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study shows. The study, “Quantification of individual remyelination during short-term disease course by synthetic magnetic resonance imaging,” was published in Brain…

Dual Cognitive, Motor Tasks More Difficult Even in Early MS Stages

Even in early stages of disease, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) commonly experience more difficulties performing cognitive and motor tasks simultaneously than do people without MS, a new study indicates. The study, “Cognitive-motor interference in people with mild to moderate multiple sclerosis, in comparison with healthy…

Pregnancy Risks Not Likely to Rise With Early DMT Use, Study Finds

The rates of pregnancy complications are not higher in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who were using disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in the earliest stages of pregnancy, a study reported. The study, “Pregnancy outcomes after early fetal exposure to injectable first-line treatments, dimethyl fumarate or natalizumab in…

Robot-assisted Training for Arms Well-received by MS Patients

A robot-assisted training program that uses game-like activities to improve upper limb function was met with high satisfaction and enjoyment by people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a small study has found. Most of the participants reported the intervention improved their ability to do day-to-day activities, such as using a…

GA Depot Reduces Relapse Rates in Phase 3 Clinical Trial

Treatment with GA Depot, an experimental long-acting form of glatiramer acetate that requires less frequent dosing than approved formulations, significantly reduced relapse rates among people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to top-line results from a Phase 3 clinical trial. “We are pleased with the topline…

Gut Bacteria Are Altered in MS, Linked to Disease Progression

The composition of bacteria in the gut is altered in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients compared with healthy people in the same household, a new study reports. That bacterial composition is affected by disease-modifying therapies and seems to be associated with disease severity. These findings could aid in developing…

T-cells Targeting Epstein-Barr Virus at High Levels in MS Patients

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) have significantly more T-cells equipped with receptors that specifically recognize the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) than do healthy individuals, a study revealed. Notably, no such differences were detected for T-cells with receptors specifically against other viruses. These findings add to previous data highlighting EBV infection…

Soft Inner Layer Surrounding Brain May Be MS Target, Study Finds

In multiple sclerosis (MS), disease-causing immune T-cells enter the brain and spinal cord through the protective soft membranes covering them, called the leptomeninges, a new study shows. The findings “suggest that patients with MS could benefit from immunomodulatory therapies that target the leptomeninges,” the researchers wrote, noting these surrounding…

Tysabri Improves Cognition Over Long-term in Early RRMS Patients

Long-term treatment with Tysabri (natalizumab) significantly improves cognitive function and increases the chance of disability reduction in people with early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to data from the four-year observational STRIVE trial. Patients on Tysabri also reported improved quality of life and less impact of MS on…

High-efficacy DMTs Boost Mid-term Prognosis for Relapsing MS: Study

People with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with Tysabri (natalizumab) or Gilenya (fingolimod) are less likely to have disease activity than those on low-efficacy MS medications, according to a small study conducted in Japan. Results also showed that patients receiving the high-efficacy therapies had less brain shrinkage,…

More Microscopic Brain Damage Seen in SPMS Than in RRMS

People with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) have more microscopic damage in normal-appearing brain tissue than do patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a new imaging study. These patients also have a greater number of chronic active lesions than those with RRMS. “Using advanced diffusion MRI…

Review Showcases Inconsistencies in MS Auditory, Vestibular Research

Abnormalities in the auditory and vestibular systems, which control hearing and balance, are frequently reported among people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study found. However, there is a substantial amount of variability in scientific studies that assess these abnormalities, making it difficult to draw an overarching conclusion about…

Global Prevalence of SPMS Estimated, But Seen to Vary Widely

Worldwide, about 22 in every 100,000 people live with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), a review study analyzing data across various countries reported. Its researchers found substantial variability in SPMS rates country-by-country, with countries closer to the poles generally reporting higher prevalence than those near the equator. Rates also…

Researchers Share Strategies to Improve Clinical Trial Recruitment

Publicity in national news outlets and an online self-screening questionnaire helped improve recruitment for a clinical trial in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), a new study highlights. “We have described our experience of recruiting participants with SPMS into two large RCTs [randomized clinical trials] in order to identify areas…

Early Detection of Pseudobulbar Affect May Help Ease MS Symptom

In its inaugural issue, a publication from The Gerontological Society of America provides information about recognizing and managing pseudobulbar affect — uncontrolled outbursts of crying or laughing that the authors say are one of the most “underrecognized and undertreated” symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological conditions. The…

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