ArchiveJune 2011


Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced on Wednesday that federal funding will be made available for clinical trials of the so-called liberation therapy for MS’ers.
Read more in the Calgary Herald

“What will convince you that the treatment for CCSVI works or doesn’t work?”

Are Pharma sponsored trials biased?

Drug companies produce most of the evidence we (neurologists) use for supporting our decisions for using disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). There is no doubt that these companies have a conflict of interest when they conduct trials. Pharma companies need positive trials to license and sell their products; therefore they want positive trials. Pharma sponsored trials are more likely to be positive...

A new remyelination target

The investigators found that a factor called Axin2 is essential for normal repair of nerves stripped of myelin. This is the process called remyelination.  A small molecule XAV939, which stabilises levels of Axin2, accelerates remyelination.  These findings indicate that Axin2 is an essential regulator of remyelination and that it might serve as a pharmacological target for drug...

The highs and lows of cannabinoid drug development

“So as not to disappoint you (please see the following presentation by Professor David Baker); we are still trying to develop drugs for MS’ers. In this case we are targeting spasticity as the current drugs we have for spasticity are far from ideal and cause too many side effects; for example sedation, wearing-off spasms and the rag-doll effect (weakness).” 

CoI: Multiple

Rituximab: a possible treatment for SPMS?

Rommer et al. Rituximab for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: a case series. CNS Drugs. 2011 Jul 1;25(7):607-13. Treatment options are very limited for MS’ers with SPMS. In this observational study the investigators present clinical and spinal fluid findings in 3 patients with SPMS who were treated with rituximab, a drug that target the B-cell or the cell that produces...

Vitamin D: effects on immune cell function in MS’ers

Kimball et al. Cholecalciferol Plus Calcium Suppresses Abnormal PBMC Reactivity in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print] The active metabolite of vitamin D is a potent modulator of immune cells. In this study the investigators’ determined whether vitamin D, a sun-dependent nutrient can affect the cells...

Vascular aspects of multiple sclerosis: a review

D’haeseleer et al. Vascular aspects of multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol. 2011 Jul;10(7):657-66. This review claims that there are potentially three types of blood vessel or vascular abnormalities in MS:  (1) The study of diseases in the general population suggest that people with MS have a higher risk for stroke than people who do not have MS. The underlying...

Potential health care cost savings associated with early DMTs

Curkendall et al. Potential Health Care Cost Savings Associated With Early Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Using Disease-Modifying Therapy. Clin Ther. 2011 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print] This study assessed health care utilization and expenditures associated with treating MS’ers early  (CIS) with DMTs rather than delaying until MS’ers meet the full diagnostic...

Research focus

In response to a anonymous comment: “Maybe one solution is to rethink the other research that is being undertaken. In your team there are researchers looking at the impact of neutralising anti-bodies) and others (Prof Baker – who referred to himself as the mouse doctor at the research day) looking at EAE (which you have noted in your blog is not MS). If EBV and Vit D looking so...

Cognitive impairment in MS

In response to the comment on memory impairment in MS.  “Cognitive impairment is common in MS. Most cross-sectional surveys show that approximately 50% of MS’ers have cognitive problems. I hope you don’t find this surprising.” McIntosh-Michaelis et al. The prevalence of cognitive impairment in a community survey of multiple sclerosis. Br J Clin Psychol. 1991...



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