MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: GA Depot, Blood-brain Barrier, Mindfulness

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by Ed Tobias |

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Use of GA Depot in Treating Progressive MS Given US Patent

In the area of MS treatments, one major need is for medications that treat more than just the relapsing form of our disease. GA Depot might help fill that void. The U.S. patent the medication received says it’s designed to cover primary and secondary progressive MS. 

GA Depot is a form of glatiramer acetate, which is sold as Copaxone. The difference between the treatments is that GA Depot is injected into the muscle once a month, rather than under the skin three times a week. It’s currently in a Phase 3 trial.

Mapi Pharma announced that it has been granted a U.S. patent covering the use of GA Depot, a potential long-acting formulation of glatiramer acetate, in people with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent, No. 11,167,003, is titled, “Methods for suppressing or alleviating primary or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS or SPMS) using sustained release glatiramer depot systems.”

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Key to Unlocking Blood-brain Barrier Discovered in Mouse Study

These researchers view the blood-brain barrier as the “worst enemy” when it comes to developing new MS therapies. But they believe that what they’ve found could open the door to breaching that barrier, which would allow them to directly treat the brain. This could provide new avenues to control MS inflammation, restore nerve function, and ease symptoms.

A team of researchers has discovered that the key to bypassing the blood-brain barrier — a semipermeable border that protects the brain against toxins in the blood but also blocks potential treatments — is the Unc5B receptor in the endothelial cells that line the tiny blood vessels in the brain.

Blocking Netrin-1, a protein that interacts with Unc5B, broke down the barrier on-demand, the scientists found — a discovery that may open the door to the development of therapies that directly target nerve fiber damage in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

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Online Mindfulness Program Helps Patients With Depression, Trial Finds

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that guides a person to become more aware and accepting of their experiences. The goal is to turn negative reactions that could worsen pain and emotional distress toward positive thoughts. There were several positive comments about mindfulness on our MS News Today Facebook page after this article was posted there.

Eight weeks of an online mindfulness program significantly lowered levels of depression and improved quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers in Australia report.

“This study adds to growing evidence on how wellness strategies can help people with MS to reduce symptoms and enable fuller participation in society,” the National MS Society stated in a press release.

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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.


Carole Brazsky avatar

Carole Brazsky

My daughter was diagnosed in 2020 and is in denial. She will not talk about it nor will she get involved with any support groups. I can understand that because many times in support groups people tend to go on about their terrible situations.

I read MS News Today and enjoy everything. Thank you all, at least I'm being informed & prepared.

She does do monthly infusions & sees her Doctor.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Carole,

I'm glad you're doing that for your daughter and I'm glad that the info we have here may help you help her.

I've lived with MS for more than 40 years and can assure you, and her, there is life after MS. I was 32 years old when I was diagnosed, worked full-time in the news media, until retiring at age 64. I've traveled all over the world, been married almost 46 years and have two grandkids.

If you want a little more reading you might want to take a look at a book I've written: "The MS Toolbox." It's designed to help MS "newbies."

Good luck,


Charlene Meyer avatar

Charlene Meyer

I totally understand being in denial I was diagnosed in 1995. The doctor came into the exam room told me I had MS and proceeded to walk out of the room. It was very difficult to process at that time. It took me many years and my declining health to accept my disability.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Charlene,

The way you were treated by that doctor is horrible. Doctors and their patients need to work, and make decisions, as a team. I can't understand why people with this lack of compassion and empathy become physicians.

After more than 40 years of living with MS I've learned life isn't about hiding from the storm, it's about learning to dance in the rain. The sooner, the better.



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