Engaging Thoughts – a Column by Laura Kolaczkowski
Laura Kolaczkowski is active in the MS community on several levels, including writing for her personal blog InsideMyStory and other online distribution outlets. She is a newly named District Activist Leader with the National MS Society and was the recent recipient of an NMSS Lifetime Achievement award from the Ohio Valley Chapter. Laura serves as the Lead Patient representative for iConquerMS™, a patient powered research network funded through PCORI. In this role she functions as a bridge between researchers and the almost 3,000 people with MS who have enrolled and shared their own personal MS history. Her approach to research is patient centric, and strongly rooted in her Liberal Arts background with a focus on understanding the shift in patient – physician relationships thanks to the use of digital media and online MS sites.
Laura has her B.A. in Communication Management from the University of Dayton, where she also worked for over 25 years, until leaving full-time work due to her MS. She resides in Beavercreek, Ohio, and appreciates Midwest living but loves the fast pace of visits to Boston, Washington, DC and the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband, John, enjoy traveling and she has visited 49 of the states in the US; she is open to suggestions on what to do when she makes it to Idaho, which will be her 50th state. This mother of two adult children and three grandchildren, has a love for cookie baking during the holidays.
Laura’s focus here at Multiple Sclerosis News Today will be on better understanding the many complex dimensions and layers of research and how people living with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis can be engaged in the research process. She believes advances in MS treatment and daily life will only come about when more people understand the aims of research and become active participants. She is open to topics about research to cover here and would love to hear from scientists and clinicians who are working in laboratories and on clinical trials, so she might have a more personal look at the process.
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
The late Dr. John N. Whitaker was a world-famous researcher in multiple sclerosis. His work inspired many scientists to enter the field of MS and develop their skills and talents. Each year, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers honors Dr. Whitaker’s memory by presenting one award for innovative research by a young investigator. — CMSC Annual Meeting Program
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 ... Read more
“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 ... Read more
The American Academy of Neurology‘s (AAN) 2017 annual meeting will bring together physicians who practice in all areas of neurology, including our own multiple sclerosis (MS) specialists. In a recent ... Read more
Pamela Arterbridge is one of 70 people at Ohio State University’s Multiple Sclerosis Center taking part in the open-label part of a clinical trial for ocrelizumab, now best known as Ocrevus. She ... Read more
A prominent neurologist, who was involved in early research into B-cell therapy, tells Multiple Sclerosis News Today about his positive experience of using ocrelizumab, now branded Ocrevus, with patients. Michael ... Read more
The sky-high costs to Medicare for prescriptions of the MS medication H.P. Acthar Gel, as reported in Multiple Sclerosis News Today were highlighted at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research ... Read more
Editor’s note: Columnist Laura Kolaczkowski writes from the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) 2017 Forum in Orlando, Fla., (Feb. 23-25). Two MS disease-modifying therapies, Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) ... Read more
Editor’s note: Columnist Laura Kolaczkowski reports from ACTRIMS in Orlando, Fla. The second Annual Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) got under way in Orlando, Fla., ... Read more
Long-awaited approval of the multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) has been delayed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What had been publicized widely as a late December 2016 ... Read more
I recently had the opportunity to serve as a consumer reviewer of research applications submitted to the Multiple Sclerosis Research Program (MSRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. I ... Read more