MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Keto Diet, Milk and MS, Disability Progression, Neural Sleeve

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by Ed Tobias |

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Ketogenic Diet Eases Symptoms, Aids Life Quality in Small RRMS Study

This new report says that a ketogenic diet might help people with MS. It’s certainly helped my wife lose weight, but will it help my symptoms? I wondered about that in a recent ‘MS Wire’ column.

A short-term ketogenic diet, which dramatically cuts carbohydrate consumption, is safe and results in significant improvements in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a small study in patients reported.

“Our study provides evidence that a ketogenic diet is safe and beneficial, reducing some symptoms for people with MS, when used over a six-month period,” James Nicholas Brenton, MD, a pediatric neurologist and MS specialist with University of Virginia Health, said in a press release.

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Immune Reaction to Milk Protein May Explain Dairy’s Link to MS

I usually don’t report on mouse studies, but cow’s milk is such a universal nutrient that a study about milk and MS is hard to overlook. I’m probably an exception to an MS-milk connection, however. Since my childhood, I’ve consumed very little milk. I just don’t like it — unless it’s in the form of ice cream. I suspect my MS is probably due to something other than eating dairy products.

Immune system reaction to casein, a protein in cow’s milk, can trigger an inflammatory neurological disease in mice that’s similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) and includes the loss of myelin, a study reported.

“These results identify how consumption of milk and milk products may exacerbate the autoimmune response in MS,” its researchers wrote.

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Worsening Disability in Absence of Relapses ‘Underestimated’ in MS

This should come as no surprise to most people with MS. In both primary and secondary MS, symptoms can worsen without having what’s considered to be a relapse. This report looks at how progression can occur even in the relapsing-remitting stage, and it suggests the need for treatment with a disease-modifying therapy as early as possible.

A substantial amount of disability worsening happens independently of relapses in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), including those in earlier stages of relapsing-remitting disease, a study in a large patient database reported.

While its findings “confirm relapses contribute to the accumulation of disability, primarily early in multiple sclerosis,” data also show that “progression independent of relapse activity can start early in relapsing, remitting MS” before becoming “the dominant driver of disability accumulation as the disease evolves,” Fred Lublin, MD, a study co-author, neurologist with Mount Sinai and director of its MS center, said in a press release.

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FDA Clears Leg-worn ‘Neural Sleeve’ to Aid Walking

This device is designed to counter foot drop, an MS symptom I’ve lived with for many years. It’s similar to the Bioness L300 Go functional electronic stimulator that I use to help me walk, only larger. According to the company Cionic’s website, it appears to be much less expensive than the Bioness unit.

I hope to watch a demonstration of the Neural Sleeve in a few weeks and perhaps be able to give it a test walk. Keep an eye on’The MS Wire‘ for updates.

Cionic has received authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its lightweight, leg-worn Neural Sleeve to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis and other conditions that affect mobility.

The decision comes four months after the company submitted the device — the first to combine movement analysis and augmentation into a wearable garment — for FDA clearance.

Neural Sleeve may be used to facilitate walking in patients with foot drop or leg muscle weakness.

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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.

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