MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: aHSCT, NICE Guidelines, ED, Neural Sleeve

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by Ed Tobias |

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aHSCT, Stem Cell Therapy for RRMS, Troubled by Unknowns, Paper Says

This research team says more studies are needed before aHSCT should be used for people with MS. But this has been the standard response for years to those who have seen benefits with stem cell transplants. Yet there has been little action toward government approval of the therapy for MS.

These transplants have been used for years to treat certain types of cancer. An Italian study of people with MS reported that after 10 years, 65.5% of those who were studied continued to experience no worsening of disability following their aHSCT treatment. Studies comparing aHSCT with the most effective of the approved disease-modifying therapies are underway in the U.S. and the U.K. But it seems it’ll still be years before aHSCT is a generally accepted treatment for our illness. Can’t we do more to fast-track things?

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT) has shown some promise as a treatment option for highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), but more clinical evidence is needed to support its use, a team of researchers in the U.K. suggest.

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“Uncertainty remains as to how aHSCT compares with current standard of care in patients with highly active RRMS,” the team wrote.

The article, “Is stem cell transplantation safe and effective in multiple sclerosis?,” was published in The BMJ.


NICE Updates Its Guidelines for MS Management

Guidelines for assessing fatigue, working with both nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments, coordination of care, and MS risk factors are among those that were revised in this first update in eight years. But unlike guidelines for other illnesses, guidelines about how to best utilize the variety of disease-modifying therapies for MS are lacking. The U.K.’s MS Trust says that this contributes to “considerable variation in disease modifying drug prescribing across England and Wales.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England has updated its guidelines for the diagnosis and management of adults with multiple sclerosis.

Called Multiple sclerosis in adults: management, the new guidelines update and replace the 2014 recommendations and are meant to be followed by healthcare professionals in England and Wales within their National Health Services.


Erectile Dysfunction Can Affect Most Men With MS, Analysis Suggests

I don’t think this comes as a surprise to men with MS. Sexual problems affect them as significantly as they do women living with our illness, and in fact, more. These problems are estimated to affect 40–80% of women and 50–90% of men. There’s a high amount of variability in the these findings, however. That could be related to age, disease duration, disability, and other factors. Have you spoken with your neurologist about erectile dysfunction? Has your neurologist ever asked you about it?

The risk of erectile dysfunction was about three times greater in men with multiple sclerosis compared with healthy men, according to a recent meta-analysis of published studies.

It was identified in nearly half of the 2,760 adult male patients in these studies, highlighting the importance of diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction in patients


Neural Sleeve Improves Mobility, Reduces Pain and Depression: Cionic

There’s been a buzz about this news in our MS News Today Facebook group. The Neural Sleeve is a cufflike device that’s worn around the leg. It appears to be similar to the Bioness Go and the Walk-Aid electrical stimulators, as it senses walking and provides electrical stimulations to leg muscles. This can help people with foot drop or weak leg muscles have an easier time walking. Wouldn’t you feel less depressed, and possibly have less MS-related pain, if your walking improved?

Cionic‘s leg-worn Neural Sleeve, recently authorized in the U.S. to aid walking in people with multiple sclerosis and other conditions that impair mobility, reduced foot drop in a small clinical trial.

Patients in the trial also reported marked reductions in pain and mental health problems, according to Cionic.

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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