MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Ocrevus, Myelin Repair, Early MS Problems, Black MS Experience Summit

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by Ed Tobias |

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Ocrevus Reduces MS Relapse Risk, But Linked to More Hospitalizations

As you can see from the first two paragraphs of this story, these hospitalizations occurred most frequently in older people with MS. Yet, as these researchers point out, the criteria for selecting the people who participated in Ocrevus’ clinical trials excluded older people. The researchers are concerned that Ocrevus was approved for use by older people (and others who were excluded from the trials) even though its efficacy and side effects for these people were never studied.

This isn’t just a problem with the Ocrevus trials. Older people, those with underlying conditions, and people using other medications are frequently excluded from clinical trials. Shouldn’t these trials include them?

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) reduces relapse risk and slows disability progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) but also is associated with higher hospitalization rates in older people with relapsing forms of the disease, a new observational study reports.

Hospitalizations — which occurred mainly due to urinary tract infections — were more frequent in adults ages 55 and older than in those below that age, the study found.

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DC United Goals Now Worth Up to $20,000 for National MS Society


Way Seen to Counter Blood-clotting Molecule That Blocks Myelin Repair

OK, these are just mouse studies. But it’s a slow week for eye-catching MS news, and the studies involve myelin production and repair. That’s always interesting, so here’s a report on some research that might eventually produce a new line of drugs that could be used to stimulate myelin repair.

Blocking a particular receptor protein of the BMP signaling pathway effectively promoted the maturation of myelin-producing cells and myelin repair in two mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study showed.

Notably, these benefits, observed even after disease onset, took place in the presence of fibrinogen, a blood clotting factor that leaks into the brains of MS patients and acts as a myelin-repair blocker.

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Pain, Fatigue, Anxiety Common in First Year After CIS/MS Diagnosis

This seems obvious to me, but the lead researcher writes: “Our findings highlight the importance of early and routine assessment of patients’ symptoms, so that those patients who might benefit from treatment can be identified and receive appropriate care.” Are neurologists so oblivious to, or uncaring about, the problems that people face when confronted with an MS diagnosis that they need a research study to tell them what to look for? 

People newly diagnosed with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) or multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently experience pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety in the first year after diagnosis, a new study finds.

Fatigue was reported by almost two-thirds of new patients, and half experienced pain. Many individuals experienced multiple symptoms simultaneously, an analysis showed.

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MS Society to Hold Black MS Experience Summit

The National MS Society says some evidence shows that MS symptoms and their severity can be different for Black people than for others who live with MS. So, the society will be holding an online conference aimed at empowering Black people with MS to help navigate and overcome those unique challenges they might face. Sessions include: “You and MS Research,” “Self-Advocacy in MS,” “Navigating MS as a Millennial,” “Managing MS Below the Belt,” “MS and the Family,” and “Aging in MS.”

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will host the second edition of its Black MS Experience Summit, a virtual event to help forge connections among those who understand the experience of living with multiple sclerosis (MS) as a Black person.

Register here to join the interactive, two-day virtual event, which takes place Sept. 22–23.

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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.


Darren avatar


Hi, I’ve just read the brief biography of Ed Tobias; what an inspiration he is. I’ve go

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Thank you, sir.



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