MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Coronavirus FAQs, Diet, Ozanimod Study, High-dose Vitamin D

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by Ed Tobias |

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Ponesimod, telemedicine

FAQs About Coronavirus and MS

As the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease spreads around the world, people with multiple sclerosis are asking questions specifically related to our illness and our medications. These FAQs answer many of those questions.

The recent outbreak of a novel coronavirus (nCoV) strain or variant, called COVID-19, has put nations and health organizations around the world on high alert.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients could be at a higher risk of acquiring an nCoV infection if they are on immunomodulatory therapy.

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this coronavirus and MS, and what to do to prevent infection.

Click here to read all of the FAQs.

You can also find information and comments about this in the Multiple Sclerosis News Today Forums.


#ACTRIMS2020 – What We Now Know About Diet and MS

Can diet affect the course of your MS? Some swear by various diets to treat MS and believe they can replace disease-modifying therapies. Others believe that diets alone cannot slow or halt the progress of MS. I fall into the latter category. Here’s a good overview of what studies show about how diets impact MS risk and progression.

What science has told us about how diet might influence a person’s risk of multiple sclerosis and a patient’s disease course was the topic of discussion at a recent MS conference.

Ellen Mowry, MD, a researcher and professor of neurology at John Hopkins, also reviewed some of the dietary approaches either tested or being studied in MS, and the lessons learned from such work.

Click here to read the full story.


#ACTRIMS2020 – Ozanimod May Ease Inflammation While Retaining Some Immune Defenses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by March 25 whether to approve ozanimod as a treatment for relapsing MS, and a similar decision by the European Medicines Agency is expected by mid-year. It’s good to have another disease-modifying therapy available, especially an oral one, but as I wrote in my “MS Wire” column last Friday, I sure wish more attention would be paid to treatments for progressive forms of MS.

Ozanimod — an investigational oral therapy up for approval to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) — lowers the number of white blood cells circulating in the blood, supporting its ability to ease inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.

But this treatment also does not affect all white blood cell types equally, suggesting it may reduce damaging inflammatory responses while preserving some essential immune defenses.

Click here to read the full story.


#ACTRIMS2020 – Vitamin D at High Dose Can Worsen MS, Early Study Says

This caught my eye because I’ve seen posts from people who are worried about headlines like this one. While it’s accurate, it’s also an example of why you always need to read the full story and not just the headline. If you read the story, you’ll find out that this is a study of mice with simulated MS, and the dose that may cause problems is 75,000 IU/kg. On the other hand, the story also reports that a standard dose of 1,500 IU/kg may actually ease MS symptoms.

High-dose vitamin D supplements appear to aggravate inflammation and myelin loss in the brain and spinal cord, and worsen the disability associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), a study in a mouse disease model reported.

Excessive use of vitamin D causes calcium levels to spike, which directly increases the inflammatory state of immune cells and their capacity to infiltrate the central nervous system, the researchers observed.

Click here to read the full story.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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