Columns

MS Drug Treatment Costs Start the Year Headed Up

I don’t think this will surprise you. Multiple sclerosis drugs, some of the most expensive drugs there are, are getting even more expensive. Drug industry analyst Eric Schmidt, quoted in the Boston Business Journal, reported that Biogen began the new year by upping the price of Tecfidera,…

MS PATHS: Be Aware of the Info You Share

Would you open your bank account and write a blank check to just anyone requesting something of value from you? Of course not. So, why would we do that with our healthcare information? I was recently sent an informed consent form from the MS clinic where I am treated,…

Speak Up, Truthfully, About ‘Unseen’ But Real MS Symptoms

  When thinking about multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s important to remember there are four distinct types of the disease. Most of you well know this, so I’ll just mention them here: relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS); secondary progressive MS; primary progressive MS, and clinically isolated syndrome. (Anyone needing or wishing more information…

Lemtrada for My MS: First Month Report

It’s been a month since I completed my first round of Lemtrada infusions, so it’s time to bring everyone up to date on how things are going. I was told to expect a roller coaster of side effects. I’m pleased to say that, at least so far, it’s…

Are You In or Out of the MS Closet?

An MS patient who reads my column sent a personal message last week. It began: “Sorry about the secrecy. I’m in the closet! Seriously, I haven’t told many people about my RRMS diagnosis, for many reasons. I really don’t want my kids knowing. … I want to spare them that…

Planning to Succeed in the New Year

Now that 2016 is thankfully behind us, it’s time to start a new year — fresh, rested, and ready to kick butt and chew bubble gum. That being said, rest in peace David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glen Frey, Prince, Nancy Reagan, George Kennedy, Gary Shandling, Anton Yelchin, Gene…

Forget About Resolutions and Remember to Focus

I’m already tired of hearing about New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like me, you find that for those who spend their social media time listing goals in earnest, there’s a smidgen of luxury to their actions. After all, most of these goal-making champions are not chronically ill. They don’t have to think…

Phoebe’s HSCT Story: Back home (Last in a Series)

Phoebe Scopes was the first international patient to receive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) therapy for multiple sclerosis in Moscow. In this fourth, and last, part of her story, we join Phoebe on her return home to the London. Ian: What is your post-HSCT MS state from getting home…

Tinnitus and MS: An Annoying Combination

Loss of hearing symptoms such as tinnitus are not usually attributed to multiple sclerosis, but for those with MS who do experience tinnitus, like me, they can be very annoying. The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) describes the symptoms as: “the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present.

Still Waiting on Ocrevus

  Several months ago I wrote a blog on my personal website about Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), the first drug that’s designed specifically to treat primary progressive, as well as remitting, multiple sclerosis. The clinical trials for Ocrevus posted excellent results. The buzz in the medical community was good,  and it…

We Need Pharma If We Hope to Find a Cure for MS

We all know the credit card commercial with actor Samuel L. Jackson talking about the buying power and the return on a certain credit card. He speaks about the bonus cash-back offers you can accrue if you just keep spending money and putting it on your credit card. The tag…

Multitasking vs. Mindfulness

The glory days of multitasking may be fading. More and more research points to the fact that our brains actually cannot multitask. Rather, the brain shifts rapidly (it’s all relative) back and forth between tasks as we attempt to do multiple activities at once. Like many people with MS,…

MS, Mercury and My Mouth

When I was a child my teeth had a lot of cavities So, I had lots of fillings in my mouth. The fillings were silver amalgam, which contain about 50% mercury. Mercury is a pretty toxic metal. In fact, these days if you break a thermometer and its mercury spills…

High dose biotin protocol – my nine month update!

Nine months ago I started the high dose biotin protocol. I did so in an effort to slow the progression of my primary progressive multiple sclerosis. This is the link for my first article in August detailing the high dose biotin protocol and my results at that time.

Hope Lights the Way to a Cure for MS

“This first candle in the advent wreath,” I told my kids as I clicked the lighter and set its flame atop the wick, “represents hope. What does that word mean to you guys?” In the warm glow of the purple taper, we talked about everything from wishes and…

Lifting a Toast to Andrew Barclay

I don’t want to write about Andrew Barclay. But I have to. Because Andrew Barclay could be you or me. Barclay died in early December. He was a former civil servant in the U.K. and a grandfather. He turned 65 on his last birthday. And, Andrew Barclay had multiple…

Phoebe Scopes, British HSCT Pioneer in Moscow, Part 2

Last week, I introduced you to Phoebe Scopes, the very first MS patient from another country to undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in Moscow. Today, in Part 2,  we pick up the story of the 46-year-old who lives in London. Ian: So, you had done lots of research. How…

My Lemtrada Infusion: Five Days Done

I’ll admit I was nervous as I sat in the infusion chair for Day 1 of Round 1 of my Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions. I’d read a lot, and talked with my neurologist a lot, about the drug. I knew the benefits of Lemtrada could be great. My multiple sclerosis…

Know which questions to ask your neurologist about MRIs

I’m sure all of us with multiple sclerosis have had at least one magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Most likely, more than one. MRIs are designed to scan and provide detailed pictures of the body, the brain included. The test can reveal scars (plaque lesions) on the brain and the…