Engaging Thoughts – a Column by Laura Kolaczkowski

Did You Wash Your Hands?

I’ve been at a conference the last few days where scholars from around the world are discussing health literacy. It’s a subject much more complicated than just wondering at what level a person might read, or if they can read at all. It’s also a discipline rooted in…

Discovering MS Research

When talking about MS research, we tend to focus on drug development because improved therapies, and even the cure for MS, will come from pharmaceuticals. But what do we know about other MS research that doesn’t involve taking a pill or enduring an injection? I’m talking about those…

A Look Inside MS Marketplace Projections

Do you ever stop and ponder the value of MS drugs? I’m not talking about if they work and the ways they improve our lives. I’m thinking of the COST of them and what their pricing means to investors. I get several market analysis reports on the pharmaceutical industry,…

There’s an App (Maybe Too Many) for That!

How many hours do the pharmaceutical companies think we have in our day? I ask because almost all of them have come up with very slick tools to use, particularly mobile apps, to help us improve our daily lives with MS. Not coincidentally, these apps also provide their…

#Sleeptember is Here!

What better time of year to talk about getting good sleep than heading into the fall season, which is followed by the dark days of winter? Although we are not furry creatures who curl up in a cave to sleep through the winter, many of us wish we could do…

Ocrevus and Sweating Out MS

Many of you are considering making the switch to Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) as your disease-modifying therapy for multiple sclerosis. This is a switch I made recently. There are so many questions and unknowns about how this treatment might help me, and I’m trying to…

MS Advocacy Resources are Many

Advocacy comes in many forms, and recently I wrote about what advocacy by individuals might look like. The other type of advocacy we have going for those of us with multiple sclerosis is the work done on our behalf by a large number of nonprofit organizations. Let…

Digging Deeper for a Cure

I stood at the front door of my house and could only shake my head as I watched the backhoe digging a deep trench in my yard. A sewer line malfunction created a mess in my basement and it turned out to be a broken clay pipe in…

Faces of MS Advocacy

Do you ever stop to wonder about the people who write these great columns for Multiple Sclerosis News Today? I have the honor of knowing several of them via telephone conversations and even occasional in-person meetings. You can tell by looking at our bios that we are a…

The Importance of Patients Having a Voice in MS Research

I recently spent time at the annual meeting of the Drug Information Association (DIA), listening to presentations and talking with industry representatives about the multiple sclerosis community’s needs. DIA is a nonprofit association that has been around more than 50 years. Their primary interest is the development of healthcare…

Got Questions? iConquerMS Seeks Answers

If you’ve followed my writing, you already know I am committed to advancing patient-centered research and care. I am the lead patient representative and co-principal investigator for iConquerMS. One of the main goals of iConquerMS is to elevate the voice of people with MS into research. How do…

Ocrevus and Me

I’ve done it! I made the treatment switch that so many people with multiple sclerosis are talking about: I said goodbye to Tysabri (natalizumab) and am now on Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) as my disease-modifying therapy (DMT). I went through 56 monthly infusions (or maybe more, I’ve…

A Looming Crisis in MS Research and Care

Editor’s note: Patient columnist Laura Kolaczkowski attended the 31st annual Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers conference in New Orleans. We’re facing a major problem in the near future due to a shortage of researchers for multiple sclerosis, according to Jerry Wolinsky, MD, Bartels Family and Opal…

CMSC Revises Recommendations for Gadolinium Use in MRIs

Editor’s note: Patient columnist Laura Kolaczkowski attended the 31st annual Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers conference in New Orleans. The information in this article was taken from an interview session with the physicians.   The use of gadolinium, which is the contrast agent often used during MRIs for multiple…

Defining Resiliency in MS and Ideas on Bouncing Back

How well do you bounce back when MS gets you down? An article called “Bouncing back again, and again: a qualitative study of resilience in people with multiple sclerosis” caught my attention because bouncing back is something I don’t do as well these days. I believe resilience means to be…

The Importance of Caring for Caregivers

“Coping with Caregiver Burnout When Caring for A Person with Neurodegenerative Disease: A Guide for Caregivers,” published in the April 2017 issue of the Archives for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, is intended to give better insight into caregiver burnout, and what might be…

Making Some Valid Points About Acupuncture and MS

Have you ever used acupuncture?  I have a number of times and would do so more often if it were a medical service covered by my insurance. Unfortunately, for now, most complementary treatments we have available to help with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis are not covered by commercial insurance. In…

#ACTRIMS2017 – MS, the Gut and Probiotics

Harold Weiner, MD, believes in using probiotics to help treat multiple sclerosis. He is such a believer that he did a presentation on the subject — “Probiotics in Multiple Sclerosis” — at the just-concluded Americas for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) 2017 Forum in Orlando. The event…

#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…

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These flash briefings give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

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