Archive2009

Liberation therapy – CCSVI

I am a sceptic but remain open to the possibility, albeit remote, that CCSVI may be a real finding. I would definitely not recommend any surgical or radiological intervention at this stage. More research is needed to confirm of refute Zamboni’s findings before any prospective randomised trials are started. You may not be aware but I have been informed that two people with MS have died from...

2009 European Charcot Foundation Symposium

The 2009 European Charcot Foundation Symposium gathered many world opinion leaders in MS in Lisbon for a 3 day meeting to discuss “A new treatment era in multiple sclerosis: options, challenges and risks”. Prof Lassmann. In brain lesions in secondary progressive MS (SPMS), about 65% of cells are clonally expanded MHC class I CD8+ T cells that seem to escape apoptosis and outnumber CD4+T cells...

CCSVI

Recently, evidence has emerged – and widely publicised – that a condition called “chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI)” may play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Paolo Zamboni, professor and director of the Vascular Diseases Centre at the University of Ferrara (Italy), and co-workers detected anomalies of venous drainage from the brain and spinal cord in all...

Immunology highlights ECTRIMS 2009

The highlight of ECTRIMs was the talk by the famous pathologist Prof John Prineas (Sydney, Australia), who was awarded the prestigious Charcot Prize for his unique contributions to the pathology of MS. The prize is named after the famous French neurologist also called “the Napoleon of the neuroses”. He was the first to describe multiple sclerosis as a distinct disease entity. This talk...

Label change for Natalizumab

09 November 2009 Elan & Biogen-Idec have made changes to the label on Natalizumab to reflect the increased risk of PML over a longer period of time. They are updating the label following consultation with the FDA; “risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy increases with longer treatment duration, and for patients treated for 24 to 36 months is generally similar to the...

23 post-marketing natalizumab-related PML cases

The EMEA announced, in a press-release, on the 23 October that there are now 23 post-marketing natalizumab-related PML cases: “Review of benefits and risks for Tysabri started -The Committee started a review of the benefits and risks of Tysabri, in view of reports of 23 cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) worldwide since Tysabri has been on the market. This review is...

Genetics of MS update post-ECTRIMS 2009

Studies of family members of MS patients has shown that the more closely related you are to an MS patient the higher your risk of the disease. For example, if you are a sibling or child of an MS patient your risk is about 3%. This shows that genes play a role in MS. Studies over the last 30 years has shown that a region of DNA on chromosome 6 is the main genetic locus in MS. The main gene...

Novel disease modifying therapies: data presented at ECTRIMS 2009

The 25th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Dusseldorf in September 2009 brought together leading international experts in MS to share and discuss recent advances in MS research. We were presented very promising new treatments evaluated in phase II and III trials. Oral therapies have reached an advanced phase of development, with some...

Panel recommends that FDA approves Fampridine for increasing walking speed in PwMS

Concerns: Aminopyridines, a family of compounds to which Fampridine belongs, works by lowering the requirements for axons (the electrical cabling of nerves) by blocking a specific group of proteins on their surface called voltage-gated potassium channels. This makes it more likely for an electrical impulse or action potential to be transmitted across a demyelinated segment of an axon. Although...

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