ArchiveJuly 2011

Slowed nerve conduction: fatigue and heat sensitivity

As a follow-up to my post yesterday. “Roshni was correct; well done!” The main consequence to slowed conduction is fatigue. The commonest example is exercise-induced fatigue. For example you may find that as you walk or exercise it becomes more difficult; your leg begins to drag, your vision may blur or your thought processes seem to slow. The reason for this is that those...

Vitamin D intake during pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of MS in offspring

Objective. Vitamin D may have a protective role in the aetiology of MS, but the effect of vitamin D in pregnancy on adult onset MS has not been studied. Methods: In 2001, 35,794 mothers of participants of the Nurses’ Health Study II completed a questionnaire inquiring about their experiences and diet during pregnancy with their nurse daughters. This allowed...

Animal use rises

The number of genetically modified (GM) animals, particularly mice, being bred for research in the UK rose by 6% from 2009 to 2010.

“I wonder how many of them were being used for MS-related research? I suspect a lot.”

Additional reading: Nature 21 st July 2011

CCSVI does not predict MS risk or severity

Background: It is unclear whether chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is associated with MS, because substantial methodological differences have been claimed by Zamboni to account for the lack of results of other groups. Furthermore, the potential role of venous malformations in influencing MS severity has not been fully explored. This information is particularly relevant, because...

Slow nerve conduction in MS: are there consequences?

As a follow-up to the post from yesterday. The top video shows how nerve fibres conduct electricity within the nervous system; the scientific term for this is saltatory conduction; i.e. the electrical impulses jump from one gap in the myelin to the next. The conduction is very rapid. The video below shows conduction in a demyelinated nerve that has restored conduction by a...

Evoked potentials in early MS correlate with disability

Evoked potentials (EPs) is a technique that allows us to test the electrical conduction in a particular pathway within the nervous system. If the conduction is slow it tells us the particular pathway being tested is demyelinated.  EPs can be very helpful in making a diagnosis of MS; EPs can be used to show sub-clinical or asymptomatic involvement of a particular pathway. Aim: This...

Do you have a problem with walking?

This review article highlights another big problem in MS; problems with gait or walking. Gait problems in MS’ers is characterised by reduced walking speed, walking endurance, step length, cadence (how smooth your gait is) and joint motion, as well as increased energy requirements of walking and increased variability of gait. Standardised clinical, timed, and patient-based measures can...

Are you having falls?

Aims: This study investigated the incidence, associated factors and health care provider response to falls in 474 MS’ers. Methods: The study was done via a postal survey questionnaire  Results: A total of 265 (58.2%) MS’ers reported one or more falls in the previous 6 months.  58.5% of falls resulted in injuries. Tripping or slipping while walking accounted for 48% of...

Fingolimod does not promote remyelination

Fingolimod has been shown to work in animal models of MS, and has been approved as a treatment for relapsing-remitting MS. There is controversy in the literature regarding the contribution of fingolimod to myelin repair.  In this study the investigators looked at the effect of fingolimod on myelin repair in two models of demyelination that have a minimal inflammation...

Query regarding Natalizumab

In response to an email query regarding someone who has had 5 infusions of Natalizumab. Q1.  What does it mean if a MS symptom (intention tremor) improves in the first few months and then becomes worse than before treatment started? “The expectation of Natalizumab therapy is to prevent future attacks; it does little to repair previous damage. In MS’ers with early disease suppressing on-going...

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