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

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…

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…

Metformin Seen to Aid Cognition, Brain Biology in MS Rat Model

Treatment with the diabetes medication metformin was seen to lessen cognitive impairment, improve coordination, and normalize neuronal activity in a rat model of multiple sclerosis (MS). The study reporting these findings, “Evaluation of the effects of metformin as adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activator on spatial learning and…

Signaling Protein Seen to Help Promote Myelin-making Cells

A signaling protein called fractalkine helps to regulate the development of oligodendrocytes, cells of the nervous system responsible for making myelin — the protecting coating of nerve cell fibers that is damaged and lost in multiple sclerosis (MS). This finding was in the study, “Fractalkine signaling regulates…

Gray Matter in Hippocampus Can Help Distinguish Between Two MS Types

Subtle changes in structure in the hippocampus — a region of the brain involved in processing memories — can differentiate between relapsing-remitting and primary progressive multiple sclerosis, according to a new study. The study, “Unraveling the MRI-Based Microstructural Signatures Behind Primary Progressive and Relapsing–Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Phenotypes,”…

Gilenya Started Earlier in RRMS Disease Course in Recent Years

People with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) have switched to treatment with Gilenya (fingolimod) at an earlier stage in their disease in recent years, compared to individuals who switched to the treatment around the time it became available, a new study indicates. The findings suggest “an increased experience in…

Anti-CD20 Antibodies Reduce Myelin Loss in MS Rats

Treatment with anti-CD20 antibodies reduced the loss of myelin and improved the survival of neurons in a rat model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study reports. The findings imply that B-cells — the immune cells that are killed by anti-CD20 antibodies — play a central role in the…

Trials of IMU-838 in RRMS, Progressive MS Start Later This Year

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared Immunic Therapeutics to initiate two clinical trials of its investigational medication IMU-838 (vidofludimus calcium) in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), as well as a separate trial for people with progressive types of MS. The RRMS clinical trial program, expected…

Early Use of High-efficacy DMTs Favor Lesser Disability Over Time

Long-term disability outcomes tend to be better in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who are treated early on with highly effective therapies, a study based on patient registry data indicates. The study, “Long-term disability trajectories in relapsing multiple sclerosis patients treated with early intensive or…

MS Symptoms Often Apparent Years Before Diagnosis

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) start experiencing symptoms of the disease several years before being diagnosed, a new study suggests. While it has long been known that people with MS tend to seek medical attention more frequently in the years before diagnosis than those without the disease, there…

Long-term Kesimpta Use Not Seen in Trial to Depress Antibody Levels

Long-term use of Kesimpta (ofatumumab) among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) did not substantially lower their antibody levels, allowing them to retain an ability to fight infections, new data from a Phase 3 clinical trial indicate. “These long-term results continue to support Kesimpta as a high-efficacy, first-choice treatment with…

Oral Aubagio Approved in EU for Children With RRMS, Ages 10-17

The European Commission (EC) has approved Aubagio (teriflunomide) for the treatment of children and adolescents, ages 10 to 17, with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Aubagio, approved for adults with RRMS since 2013, is now the first oral therapy available as a first-line treatment for pediatric patients in the European…

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