MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Ocrevus, Probiotics, Floodlight App, Sativex in UK

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by Ed Tobias |

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Trial Will Test Ocrevus on Arm, Hand Function in PPMS

A lot of the focus in MS treatment and clinical trials is placed on walking ability. It seems to me that only recently has attention been paid to above-the-waist disabilities. I know that many people with MS have problems with their hands and arms, so I’m very glad to see a trial like this. I’m disappointed that this trial has an age limit of 65, but I know I’m fighting a tough battle on the age limit issue.

A Phase 3 clinical trial testing the effect of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) on upper limb disability progression in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) is recruiting participants.

The trial, called O’HAND (NCT04035005), expects to enroll approximately 1,000 adults with PPMS, ages 18 to 65, at more than 200 sites around the world. A full list of study sites and contact information is available here.

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Probiotics Likely To Be of Help With RRMS, Meta-analysis Finds

More and more research has reported that the bacteria that live in our digestive systems have an impact on our overall health. Regulating this bacteria could be one way to approach MS treatment, and one way to regulate it is to take probiotics. I’ve always pooh-poohed the idea that probiotics could be effective at treating MS, but I guess I may have been wrong. I’m not suggesting you rush out and start taking these supplements, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to discuss it with your neurologist. I’ll be asking mine about it.

Probiotic supplements could ease disability, lessen depression, and improve overall health in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), according to an analysis of four randomized clinical trials.

Physicians working with these patients might recommend “confirmed probiotic supplements” to help manage “MS concerns,” its scientists wrote, while noting that studies into their use were limited.

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Smartphone App Floodlight Found to Reliably Measure MS Data

Floodlight is one of the MS apps I have on my smartphone. I don’t use it regularly, but I do occasionally use its limited testing tools. I’ve found it’s a simple way of tracking how I’m doing mentally and physically.

A smartphone-based app called Floodlight can reliably assess cognition, arm and hand function, and walking abilities in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new analyses.

“Detection of progression onset or worsening is critical to optimally adapt the therapeutic strategy” patients are using to treat the neurodegenerative disease, the researchers noted, adding that “a more frequent estimate of function during daily life routine is likely to have greater value in tracking MS impairment.”

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Barriers Limit Sativex Access for Patients With Spasticity in UK

Sativex seems to be helping some people with MS. Several studies are underway or have been completed that confirm this, and I’ve written about it in my column. In the U.K., Sativex has been approved and has been given a thumbs-up on its cost effectiveness. So, why have so many local health agencies in England failed to fund it? Who’s responsible for the funding roadblocks?

Sativex (nabiximols), a cannabis-based oral spray approved in the U.K. to ease spasticity — or muscle stiffness and spasms — in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS), remains unavailable to many patients there, according to a report by the MS Society UK.

Sativex is the only licensed form of medical cannabis for MS in the U.K., and has been deemed cost-effective by the National Institute for Health Case and Excellence (NICE). But fewer than half of the local health bodies in England are funding the therapy, the society reported, so that only around 13% of eligible patients can access Sativex.

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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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Jean-Pierre Roslan avatar

Jean-Pierre Roslan

Cannabis does work


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