Columns

Are the MS Stages Still Useful in a Diagnosis?

What’s in a name? Does it really matter if your multiple sclerosis (MS) is called relapsing or progressive, or secondary rather than primary? I’ve never thought so, and the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in MS agrees with me. The panel is calling for new methods…

MS News Notes: Climate Change, MS Progression, Brain Shrinkage

Welcome to “MS News Notes,” where I comment on multiple sclerosis (MS) news stories that caught my eye last week. Here’s a look at what’s happening: Study reports climate change makes MS symptoms worse Climate change may lead to more perils than rising oceans, harsher storms, and melting ice…

Dr. Amazon Takes a Third Jab at Medical Care

For the past few years, the company that brings us everything from books to basketballs has been experimenting with doing the same with medical care. Of course, it’s Amazon. In 2018, the company launched a project called Haven in partnership with a pair of financial giants, with the goal…

MS News Notes: Stem Cell Therapy, EBV Vaccine, Diabetes, Diets

Welcome to “MS News Notes,” where I comment on multiple sclerosis (MS) news stories that caught my eye last week. Here’s a look at what’s happening: Understanding stem cell therapy Researchers in Zurich wanted to understand what happens to the immune system of a person with MS undergoing a…

The Catch-22 of Dealing With Medical Bureaucracy

First off, let me apologize for my penchant for using hip literary references. Not everyone is aware of Joseph Heller’s seminal satirical novel published in 1961, which spawned the book’s title of “Catch-22” as a quick-fire phrase to describe anything that is nearly impossible to get out of. Our…

MS News Notes: Foralumab, ATA188, Precision Care, PoNS Trial

Welcome to “MS News Notes,” where I comment on multiple sclerosis (MS) news stories that caught my eye last week. Here’s a look at what’s happening: Could a nasal spray join the MS treatment arsenal? Shots, pills, and infusions are approved in the U.S. as disease-modifying therapies for MS,…

How I Survived My Odyssey With a Urinary Tract Infection

Well, I survived! I would’ve never believed something so seemingly insignificant could cause such devastating and lasting effects on my health. I’ve had urinary tract infections (UTIs) before, as they’re a complication of self-catheterization with multiple sclerosis (MS). But this was the mother of all UTIs. It started…

My New Set of Wheels Is More Accommodating to MS Needs

I’ve been feeling like a soccer mom the past month or so, even though I’m a 74-year-old guy. My wife and I are leasing a minivan, the go-to wheels of after-school sports parents. It also seems to be a great vehicle for someone with a disability like multiple sclerosis…

Do You Want the Good News or the Bad News?

Ah, one of the classic setups for a Christmas cracker joke. Others include, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and “How many ____ does it take to change a lightbulb?” While these gags are popular in Britain, I’m not sure if they exist in the rest of the English-speaking…

Do Doctors Discriminate Against People With Disabilities?

“I Am Not The Doctor For You” is the title of a shocking new study published earlier this month in the journal Health Affairs. It reports that a number of doctors acknowledged being uncomfortable with treating people with a disability. The study was conceived of by Lisa Iezzoni,…

Time for COVID-19 Boosters and Seasonal Flu Shots

It’s the time of the season. Every year around this time, I get a seasonal flu shot. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, certainly all of my adult life. But this year is a little different. There are now three flu vaccines preferentially recommended…

Dancing Doodle

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