Columns

#ACTRIMS2017 – MS Patient’s Pick of the Week’s News

The ACTRIMS 2017 Forum is the source of my Pick of the Week’s News as published in Multiple Sclerosis News Today. There is Increased Evidence Linking Viruses to MS Risk This evidence goes some way toward justifying my view, previously published, about connections between viruses and MS. In particular,…

#ACTRIMS2017: Support for Vitamin D Supplements Grows

Evidence supporting the use of Vitamin D for people with multiple sclerosis continues to grow but there remains many unanswered questions as well.  Ellen Mowry, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins MS Center, presented Vitamin D supplementation as disease modifying therapy, to participants at…

Stimulating Neurons to Help with Problem-Solving

One of the most troubling symptoms of multiple sclerosis, especially for those of us who are still working, is “brain fog” — not being able to concentrate … not feeling “sharp” when working on a task or solving problems. So I was interested to read about a new…

How to survive an MRI if you are claustrophobic

Last updated April 26, 2023 A key test for identifying multiple sclerosis (MS) during diagnosis, or to confirm a relapse, is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI.) For those who’ve never had to undergo an MRI, the thought of having this test might be terrifying. Being encased in a magnetic…

I Have MS. Do I Tell the Kids?

It’s a question that nearly every MS patient faces. When do I tell my children about my multiple sclerosis, and what’s the best way to do it? In early January I wrote a column about sharing an MS diagnosis. It was prompted by a reader who had told…

Does your MS Fatigue and Energy Need a Boost?

Does your MS fatigue and energy need a boost? I know mine does; having multiple sclerosis drains my battery very quickly. Add to that a terrible cold I had recently, and my fatigue has doubled, and my energy has left the building! While looking for a magic…

MS Drug Costs: The Elephant in the Examination Room

A lot of factors go into our decisions when we select the drug we’re going to use to fight our multiple sclerosis. How well will it work? What are the possible side effects and how serious could they be? How will using the drug (taking a pill, giving myself a…

Sir Peter Mansfield, Pioneering MRI Physicist

The MS world lost a very important person on Feb. 8. Britain’s Sir Peter Mansfield, Nobel Laureate, passed away at the age of 83. For most of us, his name means little, but his work revolutionized the way multiple sclerosis is diagnosed, and the way progression of the disease…

Stem Cell Treatment for MS: Can’t We Move Any Faster?

There is some good news about stem cell therapy. A just-published study concludes that one form of human stem cell therapy is more effective at treating multiple sclerosis than the best of the MS medications being used currently. The not-so-good news is that approval of this…

How the Blood Brain Barrier May Thwart MS Progression

Lately, I have been reading more and more about the potential connection between the blood brain barrier and multiple sclerosis. I have been researching the blood brain barrier (BBB) to better understand it and share my findings with readers. The BBB is a network of endothelial cells…

Worry Less to Reduce Unnecessary Stress

Stress is like a light that turns on when you need it. But when you can’t turn it off, you run the risk of burnout, which can impact your health, according to the U.S. National MS Society. I often have said that…

Interferon Hangovers: Managing Treatment Side Effects

Interferons (Beta and Alpha) are the oldest of the disease-modifying treatments, or DMTs, for people with MS. Interferons include Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, and Plegridy. This column won’t get into the pros and cons of each of these treatments. Instead, I’d like to focus on one of the more…