An MS Patient’s View: Ian’s Review of the Week’s News

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Pick of the Week's News

In my weekly news review, I take a brief look, from my MS patient’s view, at a few of the stories behind the headlines that have appeared on Multiple Sclerosis News Today over the last seven days.

14 Celebrity Ambassadors For the Multiple Sclerosis Cause

It looks as though this could be multiple sclerosis’s very own red carpet event with a cast of, well, 14 actually.

These are the celebrity ambassadors of the US’s National MS Society. They include actors, a model and a country music singer — just to give you an idea — and include some who live with MS as well as those who have people close to them who have the illness. And there are some with no direct connection who just want to help raise awareness of the disease.

MS charities worldwide have many volunteers who do tremendous work, and I cannot praise their efforts highly enough. However, there is no doubt that the involvement of a celebrity, and here we have 14, draws even more attention to MS.

Clinical Pilates Seen to Improve Both Cognition and Muscle Spasms in MS Patients

News that a study of clinical pilates (although I have no idea how that differs from any other form of pilates) shows it has health benefits for MS patients, will come as little surprise. I would even question the value of such research.

Although the finding that, as well as helping physically, it can improve cognitive skills and life quality may be unexpected. The study compared clinical pilates with traditional exercise, and showed that other exercise forms also offer important benefits. No, really? Who’d have thought it?

It looks likely that further research will be needed to determine if clinical pilates is a superior type of exercise for MS patients. To me, though, it is not a priority; let’s put research cash into finding a cure.

Fatigue That Troubles MS Patients Linked to Other Ills Stemming from the Disease

MS patients and carers are well aware that fatigue is something encountered frequently. Apparently, it is the most commonly reported symptom in patients and is associated with diseases that exist alongside MS — such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and anxiety, according to a new study. However, the impact of these associated illnesses on fatigue is not fully understood.

Researchers aimed to identify physical and mental disorders that could be associated with fatigue incidence and changes over time in MS patients.

Interesting though it may be, does this research help us advance towards the development of a new therapy or finding a cure? Perhaps it is just me but, from the perspective of a patient, I have to question the value of this sort of research.

4 New ‘Risk Genes’ for Multiple Sclerosis, All Controlling Other Genes, Identified in German Study

Scientists in Germany have discovered four new risk genes for multiple sclerosis (MS). They are involved in the control of how other genes are activated through mechanisms known as epigenetics.

The discovery took place during the largest genetic study ever performed in a single country. It advances understanding of how MS develops as a result of environmental influences, major contributors to the disease. At last, some research that advances knowledge that, I can see, should be useful in future.

Poor Physical and Cognitive Skills in MS Patients Linked to Cerebral Microbleeds

It has been known for some time that, as we age, the risk that small blood vessels will start leaking into brain tissue increases. This increases our risk of dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.

But I was interested to see that new research reveals that people with multiple sclerosis also have these cerebral microbleeds — and links them to increased physical and cognitive disability.

Robert Zivadinov, a professor of neurology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo in New York, said: “This is significant because it suggests that cerebral microbleeds are associated with increased physical disability in MS patients.

“Those MS patients who have cerebral microbleeds are subject to developing more physical and cognitive disabilities earlier in their disease, and therefore monitoring them more closely might be appropriate.”

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this blog article are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Multiple Sclerosis.

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Ian Franks is Managing Editor of the Columns division of BioNews Services. He has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media; during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist MS, Health & Disability blog at Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.
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One comment

  1. Jagannadha Avasarala, MD, PhD says:

    MS relapses in young have zero effect on African American populations with Vit D supplementation.

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