ArchiveMarch 2010

Sativex in MS-related spasticity

Click here Treating spasticity in MS is a big problem; it is very common and the current drugs we use are too sedating and tend to have a negative impact on cognition, which limits their use early on in the course of the disease. This study compares Sativex (the active ingredient in cannabis) with placebo in a 15-week study. The design of this study is interesting for two reasons: (1) it used an...

Vitamin D status is associated with relapse rate in pediatric-onset MS

Click here Among 110 North American paediatric CIS/MS subjects, every 10 ng/mL increase in the adjusted 25 hydroxyvitamin D3 level was associated with a 34% decrease in the rate of subsequent relapses. This study adds compelling evidence in support of a role for vitamin D in reducing MS relapse rates as initially seen in smaller studies in adult MS cohorts (Wingerchuk et al, JNNP 2005; Soilu...

43 confirmed post-marketing Natalizumab-related cases of PML

The news of 43 confirmed cases of post-marketing Natalizumab-related PML coincides with the timely publication of the description of the first 28 such cases and a review on the topic: Clifford DB, et al. Natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in patients with multiple sclerosis: lessons from 28 cases. Lancet Neurol. 2010 Apr;9(4):438-446. Tan CS, Koralnik IJ...

Human leukocyte antigen-DR15, low infant sibling exposure and multiple sclerosis: Gene-environment interaction

Click here! The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is not yet conclusively known but both genes and the environment are important. A region on chromosome 6, the HLA class II, exerts the single strongest genetic effect but the involvement of the environment is also inescapable and is no better illustrated than by the geographical distribution of the disease. The identity of the environmental factors...

Absence of Epstein-Barr virus in the brain and CSF of patients with multiple sclerosis

Another blank. Sargsyan and colleagues failed to find evidence of persistent infection in the cells that produce antibodies (plasma and B cells) within the brains of people with MS. Only in active MS plaques was EBV-encoded RNA (EBER)-1 rarely detected. Click here Conclusion: My take on this is that we need to focus on active and preactive MS lesions; I suspect that is where the action will be...

EBV specific killer cells in early MS

A new study looking into the immune response to EBV in people with MS has shown that a group of white blood cells responsible for killing EBV, the so called CD8+ cytotoxic lymphocytes or CTLs, are increased in theblood of people with early MS as compared to controls and other patients. Importantly these cells were shown to be increased in the spinal fluid of subjects with MS compared to subjects...

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