Unrelated Blogger Comments-March 2013

Sometimes you want to say something that is unrelated to the threads. This is a spot for You. Previous comments can be got at on the posts on the right of the main page.

The Mad March hare

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  • Good morning. I wanted to let you know that my spasticity and stiffness and hence walking had been getting much worse after xmas this year. I have been hauling myself up the stairs hanging off the handrail.
    I decided to try yoga again after a 4 year gap..even before I hardly did any, say once a week during a termtime class only.
    I am now on day 7 of doing 45 mins or so before breakfast. At first it was very painful and my hand/arm and leg in particular was stiff and would go spasticy during movements. And I couldnt do any of the standing or half standing poses without keeling over.
    Even after such a short time there is a definitive day by day improvement. If you can manage even a very slow and gentle start please give it a go! X

  • I like it when Ram and Dr. Ruth contribute to the blog. It creates a more comprehensive framework of understanding and how different scientists approach their work in relation to figuring out the mechanisms driving MS progression. Team G should all have their say on this blog.

    • Yes I like it too. We have been prodding members of Team G to blog. As you say it gives more variety. However sometimes, it can be batism by fire as occurred on a number of occassions for our blogging virgins. some never returned after the experience. Furthermore, when we get Dr Klaus's comments on a recent paper, yet to come, I suspect some will not agree:-).

    • I like it too! Actually I find Dr Ruth very likable (already did so when watching the video where she talks a bit more about herself from 2011). She would surely be fun to have a coffee with and a girly chat. I wish Sir Jeremy would come the blog sometimes, he impressed me in the videos and he seems ace. I also like that MD2 has been posting more and more. Perhaps we can hope to hear from the other UCLP people in the future….

    • Sir Jermey will be back next with his video from the research day. He will be giving us his ideas about how he will be tackling progressive MS.

  • I've been trying to climb the stairs without using the handrail and it's paying off. I can't go down without holding on as my right leg doesn't bend and I have little awareness of exactly where my right foot is.
    Climbing is becoming easier – it's odd how we slip into habitual impaired activity. It's hard work, relearning how to balance doing this, but it is well worth it.
    I don't need a stick when walking (just when my knee hurts as there is little meniscus left).
    If you can, push yourself a little bit. Even 5 minutes of correct exercises can make a difference to mobility.

  • I agree so far as my own experience is concerned. Day 9 of yoga and walking and balance when e.g. gardening improving little by little. Not so worried about falling in pond, wobble wobble 😉

  • Prof G a question for you – could you tell with which drugs do you & your colleagues at Barts treat dizziness/vertigo? Any good meds that you could recommend? Thanx.

    • interested…around 2005 had recurring awful nausea/balance/vertigo problems which I only now see as a relapse. Left job because of it. neurologist/MS team gave no info. Is this properly recognised as part of RRMS?

    • Too much salt is bad for you. Based on editorial high salt diet makes EAE worse, however I cannot read the actual papers, yet. Maybe Prof G can do post when he can see papers. Let us hope that the control EAE is decent and it is a real change and not just pants EAE becoming proper EAE. However there are two reports saying the same thing. Lets also see how high is high.

    • It is indeed pants EAE becoming normal(ish) EAE. Not sure how the high salt diet fed to the mice reflects to the human situation 4% of the food was salt and 1% of water. I suspect is pretty high compared to what a human might ingest. Can't seem to find plasma levels of salt in the high salt diet group compared to normal diet group.
      Suspect the only reason this got in Nature is that David Hafler's name is on it!

  • A vD-question, I´ve seen some people advocate for taking magnesium together with vD otherwise it will be of no use because according to them, because vD consumes magnesium.
    I´m not so fond of tasking a lot of supplements so what about it?
    Best regards
    //Swedish Sara

    • This changes the rules….it just adds to the muddiness. To date progressive MS does not appear to respond to peripheral T cell therapies, maybe this will change with centrally active T cell therapies. Are T cellsimportant? Are they causally related?

    • I made that comment and it wasn't aimed at you MD. More the dude at the the front of the audience who hogged the microphone and the Q&A time !

  • Hello,

    I have a question concerning specificity and sensitivity.
    I hope I can raise the question the right way as english is not my mother tongue.

    Let's say you have a test with low values on speciicity and sensititvity (e.g. 87% and 82%) but it would be the best you could do these days.

    Wouldn't it make a difference to run the same test with the same sample lets say 5 or 10 times?

    I would be more interested in how a test is applied in a real world environment.


  • Re Your Angioplasty video, it's a bit short on info have you any more details ?

    How did their MS get worse and how was this measured.
    I'm assuming if it was a study then if a patient was receiving drugs or other treatment whilst doing this study they remained constant.?
    Did the sham arm correlate with the non sham arm?
    How was the venoplasty performed?
    Were the subjects put out ? if not how was the procedure able to be blinded?
    Has intervention merely moved the problem of stenosed veins to another area?

    I do agree with the Guy, this is only the first word and further investigation is warranted.

    Regards as always.

    • It is not my video, it is from University of Buffalo. Until we see the published data one cannot comment.

      In terms of information we will have to wait to see the data when it is published and presented, but I am sure that if the data is presented at the AAN then there will be enough media coverage and people out there will see the info. So stay tuned to the web. Maybe Prof G will visit the poster and make a comment.

      However the Buffalo people are not upbeat and far from it.

      Details of the trial can be had NCT01450072 – ClinicalTrials.gov

      "This is only the first word" and further studies are ongoing, but if there is not a hint of activity it would be surprising if other studies will have dramatic effects, unless they have dramatic differences in protocol. We will need to wait and see.

      This may be the "end of the beginning" or is it "the beginning of the end?" However let us hope we are not in for a period of "Goal-Post shifting".

  • Rather gutting results.
    The goalpost as I understand it is 2 randomized trials that show an effect of venoplasty on CCSVI. This would prompt insurance companies to cover the procedure.

    A problem with the study was that the hemodynamics were not improved in the treated group compared to the placebo group. It seems unreasonable to expect an effect on the MS if the hemodynamics are not improved. This could be a failure of CCSVI treatment as a whole, it could be a failure of the CCSVI entity to exist, or it could be a failure of the specific techniques used.

    • The goal posts I was refering to was what is required to be done to show a positive result and whether negative results are accepted as such.

  • Given that smokers are much more likely to have low vitamin D levels, is it not likely that the relatively high level of MS amongst smokers is indicative of MS amongst a sub-population of people with low vitamin d levels?

  • Why bother with the jargon bell? I asked 2 weeks ago what kappa meant, and the jargon glossary doesn't seem to have changed at all in that time. Maybe no one else has asked a question? If it's too much hassle (I know you are all busy), why not just remove it?

    • Sorry it is because Prof G has been responsible for doing this and he has been busy.

      However I think kappa relates to the light chain of the antibody molecule. The heavy chain is about 50 kilo daltons (a unit of weight of molecules) whereas the light chain is about 25 kilo daltons.

      In an antibody molecule you have two heavy chains and two light chains one light is joined to a heavy chain. In the genes of people there are two possible light chain types that can be bound to heavy chains one is called lamda (Greek L) and the other is called kappa (Greek K).


  • Mouse, could you have a closer look into an article reporting on the innate capacity of the neuronal cells to protect themselves in 'Nature Medicine' (research by Prof Buchan, Oxford). Thanx.

    • Interesting this study looked in stroke systems where you get nerve loss and found that a molecule called hamartin is produced and and this can protect nerves from damage. Overexpression of hamartin increased resistance to damage by inducing productive autophagy, which is the breakdown of cellular components can ensure cellular survival during starvation by maintaining cellular energy levels.

      Although stroke is not MS, some of the disease causing mechanisms in stroke could occur in MS also. Therefore targeting hamathin is a good one. It would seen a good idea to test this in MS models ASAP. Could be more useful in MS than stroke, where you usually can't get the treatment.

By MouseDoctor



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