The MS Wire - A Column by Ed Tobias

Florida, MS biomarker, Lemtrada, nasal spray

Diagnosed with MS at age 32 in 1980, Ed has written the “MS Wire” column for Multiple Sclerosis News Today since August 2016. He presents timely information on MS, blended with personal experiences. Before retiring from full-time work in 2012, Tobias spent more than four decades in broadcast and on-line newsrooms as a manager, reporter, and radio news anchor. He’s won several national broadcast awards. As an MS patient communicator, Ed consults with healthcare and social media companies. He’s the author of “We’re Not Drunk, We Have MS: A tool kit for people living with multiple sclerosis.” Ed and his wife split time between the Washington, D.C. suburbs and Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Can We Be Taught How to Avoid an MS Fall?

I’d just gotten out of bed the other morning and was headed to the bathroom using just one cane when I tried to step over a dog toy on the floor. I went down slowly onto the carpet, so it was really no big deal. No harm, no foul, but…

It’s Disability Pride Month — But Not for Me

July is Disability Pride Month. Now, don’t slam me right away for writing this, but I don’t think we need a month highlighting disability pride — just like I don’t think we need a month in October spotlighting that we have rare diseases, especially because to me, multiple sclerosis…

Updating the Shifting MS-COVID-19 Treatment Equation

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written about the impact that COVID-19 is having on people with MS. Since then, the picture has changed — not a lot, but enough for the MS International Federation to modify its recommendations for that illness, people with MS, and…

My Review of 2 New MS Apps: icompanion and BelongMS

A couple new mobile apps for people with MS have caught my attention. Icompanion is among the best symptom and treatment trackers I’ve found. BelongMS combines patient forums with the ability to ask questions of healthcare specialists. Icompanion Several mobile apps allow users to enter information about how…

Another Medication, Zeposia, Joins the MS Treatment Arsenal

By my unofficial count, disease-modifying therapy No. 19 has just become available to people with multiple sclerosis in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zeposia (ozanimod) in late March. While pharmaceutical companies usually rush to make newly approved medications available to patients, with COVID-19 raging,…

Am I Having an MS Relapse?

As I sit down to write this week’s column, it’s hard for me to concentrate. I’d planned to write about new MS mobile apps, but I can’t get my brain to focus on the task. I’ve been bragging about how I’ve been feeling sharper and able to concentrate better the…

Giving My Laptop the Weekend Off

My favorite line in the “Downton Abbey” TV series, uttered by the dowager played by Maggie Smith, is “What’s a weekend?” When you’re retired, if you’re working as a freelancer, or if like me you’re doing both, it’s easy to forget what day of the week it is. There are…

More Evidence Links Epstein-Barr Virus to MS

More support has been added to the belief that a link exists between the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Epstein-Barr is one of the most common viruses, and most people become infected with it at some point in their lives. Frequently, it appears in childhood as…

A Good News Story About an MS Treatment

I love it when a multiple sclerosis treatment works well for someone. It doesn’t matter if that treatment is a medication, a form of physical therapy, or a diet. Good news is good news. So, when I saw this post on the Lemtrada for MS Treatment Facebook group, I…

How Has COVID-19 Affected Your MS Life?

I canceled my April blood draw. The protocol for Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) requires lab work each month because the treatment can have serious side effects. But I spoke with my neurologist and we decided that I could skip it. Blame it on COVID-19. My legs are stiffer than they were two…

COVID-19, Joey Cocker, and Me

It’s comforting to have this guy, with his floppy ears, stretched out next to me as I sit here writing. I don’t know why, but the fact that Joey, who is really my wife Laura’s cocker spaniel, has chosen to nap next to me is special. I’m not usually a…

A Snapshot of COVID-19 and Disease-modifying Therapies

Are people with MS more susceptible than the average person to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19? And if COVID-19 attacks them, what’s the likely course of their illness? What about COVID-19 and disease-modifying therapies? Doctors from around the world are collecting information right now to try to answer these…

My Lemtrada Journey, 2 Years After My Second Round

Happy Lemtrada anniversary to me! It’s been two years since I completed my second round of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions, and I’m happy to say that the results have been good. Not everyone’s experience with Lemtrada will mirror mine, but I don’t think I’m much different than most. My brain MRI…