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Taking flak for off-label prescribing

I was still wet behind the ears, in my 3-year as a neurology registrar in Johannesburg, when I first used an off-label DMT in MS. I manage to convince Vivian Fritz, my professor of neurology, to allow us to treat one of her patients with MS with mitoxantrone. This was shortly after the first case series had emerged from Germany. The patient concerned was a young woman with malignant MS who had...

Faecal transplant goes horribly wrong

This is one from ProfGs twitter feed. As you know I am a big fan of the value of microbiota 🙂 and the hundreds of trials of faecal transplant aiming to treat MS and every other condition. But be warned, if the Poop isn’t from a reputable source, things may not go the way you think. This Poop Transplant Resulted In A Death, FDA Warning via @forbes When you put someone else’s poop in...

Menopause and MS

Impact of natural menopause on multiple sclerosis: a multicentre study. Baroncini D, Annovazzi PO, De Rossi N, Mallucci G, Torri Clerici V, Tonietti S, Mantero V, Ferrò MT, Messina MJ, Barcella V, La Mantia L, Ronzoni M, Barrilà C, Clerici R, Susani EL, Fusco ML, Chiveri L, Abate L, Ferraro O, Capra R, Colombo E, Confalonieri P, Zaffaroni M. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2019. pii: jnnp-2019...

e-Bikes and MS

It’s Bike Week. Here’s how I got back in the saddle again… with an e-bike I’ve never worn lycra nor “chewed the handlebars,” but when I stopped cycling six years ago because of MS, I missed it. So how did I manage to go on a cycling break last month? Earlier this year, a good friend called and said she was planning to get a bunch of people together to go cycling for a few days in the Loire in...

Marmite on toast: the social crisis and MS

Recently one of my patients chastised me for telling her off for her poor diet, which consisted mainly of bread. She lives alone, which may explain why she eats so poorly. She has marmite or jam on toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and if she feels hungry another piece of toast for dinner. Interestingly, my mother used to refer to her elderly stepmother as a tea-and-toast lady and I never...

Street Light Science in EAE…

What’s Street light science? Central nervous system targeted autoimmunity causes regional atrophy: a 9.4T MRI study of the EAE mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis. Hamilton AM, Forkert ND, Yang R, Wu Y, Rogers JA, Yong VW, Dunn JF. Sci Rep. 2019; 9(1):8488. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44682-6 Atrophy has become a clinically relevant marker of progressive neurodegeneration in multiple...

Scotland-MS Central

BACKGROUND: Fifteen regional studies published over the last six decades surveying prevalence, mortality and hospital admissions have suggested that Scotland is amongst the highest risk nations for multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. However, substantial intranational variation in rates (between regions) has been described in numerous countries, including in the only previous Scottish...

MS Frontiers

Every alternate year we have the MS Frontiers sandwiched between MS Life organized by the Multiple Sclerosis Society. MS Frontiers is for HealthCare Professionals and MS Life is for people with MS. The 3 Ps of MS Frontiers 2019 As an early career researcher or health care professional, few things are more enriching than the chance to meet leaders in the field, to learn from them, be inspired by...

Multiple Sclerosis Research

A comment on the Multiple Sclerosis Research Blog In a world where it is easier to be lost than discovered, dissonance is the word of the day. When you have a serious medical condition, your day to day life is suddenly uncertain and unpredictable, your mood, a narrative from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition – DSM-5 for short, and its 186 footnotes...

Japan epicentre of an Asian MS epidemic

I am about to return from a short MS meeting in Tokyo. This was my first exposure to Japan and Japanese culture. It is everything and more than I expected. I am beginning to get a sense of what ikigai means. Ikigai translates ‘to a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of well-being’. Ikigai derives from iki, meaning life and kai, meaning the realisation...

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