Columns

Give Your MS a Lift with Physical Therapy!

When my doctor first recommended physical therapy for my MS, I must admit I was very hesitant —hesitant because I didn’t feel I could do it, and hesitant because I was afraid I would be embarrassed when I failed. As it turns out, I didn’t have anything to worry about. The…

#MSLIFE2016 – Sunday Brings Presentations, Activities Galore

A very full day of activities is planned for today at MS Life, inside London’s ExCel exhibition and convention center. Altogether, there are 15 presentations on the agenda. Three are in the MS Life theatre, and three more are in each of the following four zones: Managing my MS Symptoms;…

MS and the Shingles Vaccine: Can They Go Together?

A post on another website, asking about whether it was wise for someone with Multiple Sclerosis to receive the shingles vaccine, caught my attention the other day. “Have any of you had the Shingles vaccine? I’m still debating about it. I’m concerned about insulting my immune system…

#ECTRIMS2016 – My Pick of Thursday’s Congress Highlights

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…

#ECTRIMS2016 – Patient Empowerment Is One of My Highlights for Day 1

Europe’s annual congress discussing treatment, including Patient Empowerment, and research in multiple sclerosis is now underway in London. The 32nd congress is being held from today until Saturday, when it draws to a close at lunchtime. The agenda is absolutely jammed full of topics being covered in a multitude of sessions…

Lack of Diversity Hurts MS Studies

The importance of getting a representative group of people, also known as subjects, engaged in  clinical trials cannot be understated. There is so much that we need to know when it comes to multiple sclerosis, but the picture cannot be complete unless the cohort of subjects includes people from…

7 Marathons on 7 Continents for MS Runner

Tripping, falling and bloody knees. Been there. Done that. (Who with MS hasn’t)? But this wasn’t me. This was Cheryl Hile and it was happening to her as she was running a half marathon in Carlsbad, California. Cheryl had been running marathons for half a dozen years when, in…

Are You in the High Risk Category for Developing MS?

Early detection is very important for any disease diagnosis. With Multiple Sclerosis, it gives you the opportunity to start a treatment plan early that may help with slowing the progression of the disease. Symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can closely mimic other disease symptoms. Lesions don’t always…

Have a Say About MS Drugs

Anyone with a chronic medical problem knows how expensive drugs can be, and how a drug that you need can be here today … gone tomorrow on the list of drugs that your health plan will pay for. You also know that cost and insurance coverage aren’t the only…

#ECTRIMS2016 – Stay Up to Date with My Pick of Congress Highlights

The show comes to town in the next week with ECTRIMS hosting what it describes as “the world’s largest annual international conference” devoted to basic treatment and clinical research in multiple sclerosis. It is being held in London’s ExCel center from Wednesday to Saturday morning, and will be followed…

MS Foot Drop and the Road to Physiatry

When I first heard about MS “foot drop,” I assumed that the manifestation of this symptom would be a sudden and obvious inability to walk properly.  I knew many people with MS who used canes and walked with significant stiffness or a “dragging” limb. I filed “foot drop” away…

James Received HSCT for Free, as He Lives in the UK

Virtually all the talk about availability of HSCT1 as an MS treatment includes the need to travel long distances to other countries, but U.K. residents can receive the treatment in London, avoiding the journey overseas. What’s more, it is provided through the country’s social National Health Service (NHS) so, like…

The Doctor Doesn’t Always Know Best

There was an almost audible gasp in the room as I was making a presentation recently at a multiple sclerosis talk.  What did I say that was so shocking?  I merely said – if you don’t agree with your prescribed course of treatment, it is perfectly OK to speak up…

Take Your MS for a Swim

I love the water.  Good thing, since I live at the beach. Being in a swimming pool is also good therapy for my MS. It strengthens my core and arms and, when I do a little pool walking, my legs feel a bit stronger.  But, I’ve never done any…

Feeling Your Way Through MS Brain Fog

Thinking has become my second job. Never have I had to put so much effort into gathering my thoughts or comprehending the world around me as I do with MS. To say MS has changed my life in so many ways is an understatement! Of all of my MS…

MS Patient’s Pick of the Week’s News: Siponimod, Thymosin Patent, Orphan Drug, Lifestyle, and Lymphopenia Risk

Here’s my Pick of the Week’s News, as published in Multiple Sclerosis News Today. Gilenya-like Therapy Shows Benefit in Secondary Progressive MS Patients in Phase 3 Trial Here’s a potentially encouraging development for anyone with SPMS. Patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) who were treated with BAF312 (siponimod),…

Taming Heat Sensitivity at 100 Degrees

Many people voiced their concerns to me about anyone with MS moving to live in a sunny climate. That worry is understandable. With a disease that includes heat sensitivity, where even a hot shower can make you worse, how can any MS patient move to live in an area where…

Barefoot Mindfulness: Mastering Stress and Change with MS

I often watched “The Brady Bunch” as a kid.  In one episode, Peter’s voice changes right before the talent show and he isn’t able to sing his chosen song. His replacement song has been playing on repeat in my head for two months! “When it’s time to change, you’ve got…

Welcome or Not, FDA Focuses on Stem Cell Treatments

News that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to hold a public hearing next month to consider greater oversight of stem cell clinics operating in the country is as welcome as it is late. I say “late” because, while the regulators have been twiddling their fingers,…

Doc Leaves MS Patient ‘Horrified’ … and Me Too!

The other day I received a very troubling direct message from someone on another Multiple Sclerosis website: “I was diagnosed with MS in 2004 but, foolishly, dismissed it. Other than bad spacisity [spasticity] and a few little episodes, I was relatively symptom free. That is until…

Riding the High-Dose Biotin Train for Progressive MS

I knew of no available treatment options for my Primary Progressive MS, so when I heard about the pure High Dose Biotin Protocol I jumped on board! The protocol, created by MedDay in France, revolves around the vitamin Biotin (aka, vitamin B7 or H). It is recommended that the…

Wait! Here’s a Pill for Your MS

Most of us with MS rely on pharmacological assistance to make it through the day.  I know taking pills by the handful is the regimen of many people, whether they are sick with multiple sclerosis or one of many other disorders.  I was surprised at my own emotional reaction…

Help for Anyone Newly Diagnosed with MS

Being diagnosed with MS can be more than a bit of a shock at first. Yes, you finally know what you’ve got, what all those symptoms you’ve having mean, and you have heard what your neurologist told you. Well, you may have heard, but you didn’t take it in…

My Life is My Own, MS Cannot Have It

It is often said that real life mimics television, and one hit TV series certainly reflects the theme: “my life is my own, MS cannot have it.” During the 1960s, 1967–68 to be exact, an iconic television show ran on Sunday nights called “The Prisoner.” It starred Patrick McGoohan as…

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