What's Important Now -- An MS Column by Ian Franks


Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media — during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native U.K. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006.

He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist MS, health, and disability website at www.50shadesofsun.com. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

Research About Why Interferon Can Fail is Welcome

I have made no secret of my distrust of the side effects from many of the disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that are used mainly in the fight against relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). The fact that the most serious, albeit rare, side effects listed by the manufacturers of some drugs, include “death”…

HSCT in Moscow, Day by Day

Doesn’t time fly? It seems only yesterday that I was preparing to go to Moscow, yet tomorrow will be three weeks since my return. I have written enough about my experiences at the A.A. Maximov center so, today, we’ll take a look at how HSCT progresses, step by step. The…

Hormones and Diet Help Relieve Woman’s MS-Related Fatigue

A woman who says her life was made miserable by fatigue caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), claims she is on the road to recovery because she has taken control of her body and is using a combination of hormones and diet. Instead of relying on conventional treatment, she is…

Familial Connections Cannot Be Coincidences, Can They?

Life can be really strange and not always fathomable to someone like me who is not blessed with neither medical nor scientific qualifications. On a purely technical basis, I am just an ordinary guy. What I do know about diseases, illnesses and conditions – call them what you will –…

#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;…

#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…

#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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

Illustration of doctor an patient talked
We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

Expert Voices

menopause | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | illustration of woman talking with doctor

Expert Voices is a monthly series where we ask experts the questions our MS community is most interested in. Check out the entire collection below: 

Financial Planning

Diet and Nutrition

Managing Fatigue

Sex and Intimacy Issues

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Treatments and Cure Research

Vitamin D

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 audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

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