#ECTRIMS2016 – My Pick of Thursday’s Congress Highlights

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Another full day, today, at London’s ExCel center and numerous sessions, presentations, and debates to attract the attention of delegates attending ECTRIMS. After sifting through the agenda, here are my picks of Thursday’s highlights:

This morning sees the beginning of the congress’s plenary sessions, featuring a lecture about “MS diagnosis and personalized treatment” by Dr. Xavier Montalban, of Barcelona.

ECTRIMSToday’s burning debate addresses the topical issue of whether people in wheelchairs should be included in trials for progressive MS. Two opposing views are being put forward to spark debate about the reasons why a significant proportion of people with MS are excluded from clinical trials of disease-modifying treatments.

The proposition that wheelchairs users should be included is being argued by Dr. Klaus  Schmierer of London, and the opposing view by Dr. P.K. Coyle, of Stony Brook, New York. Votes are being cast via Twitter using #burningdebate.

The first of three “hot topics” for the congress’s second day is dedicated to bone marrow transplantation as a treatment for relapsing MS.

ECTRIMS Hot Topic: Bone Marrow Transplants

Two opposing presentations are being made by G.L. Mancardi, of Genoa, Italy, and J.A. Cohen, of Cleveland, Ohio. Mancardi is arguing in favor of “Bone marrow transplantation [as] a justifiable treatment for active relapsing multiple sclerosis,” while Cohen is presenting the opposite view.

As part of the same session, a third presentation on “Clinical experience in aggressive multiple sclerosis treatment with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation” is being made by M. Smilowski, of Katowice, Poland.

A second hot topic covers “Risk factors for progression of MS,” and includes three presentations. These are genetic factors by S. Sawcer, of Cambridge, U.K., environmental factors by A. Ascherio, of Boston, and “Long-term disability trajectories in primary progressive MS patients — a latent class growth analysis” by A. Signori, of Genoa, Italy.

The last “hot topic” for today concerns progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). I. Koralnik, of Chicago, Illinois, is presenting “PML pathogenesis,” then H. Wiendl, of Münster, Germany, will give a presentation titled “Biomarkers associated with the development of PML: immunological markers.” Finally, D. Brassat, of Toulouse, France, is addressing “Genomics biomarkers associated with the development of PML.”

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 column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, 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 www.50shadesofsun.com. 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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