ArchiveApril 2021

COVID blood spot study – where are we up to?

The first thing to say is a massive thank you to everyone that has been involved so far – both in raising the funds for this study and signing up to take part. We couldn’t have got this far without you. We have had a phenomenal response to this study. So far, in just over 4 months, we have recruited 320 people, and got hundreds of blood spots back. In the background, Nikki and her team have...

Stopping DMTs in advanced MS

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: zero-★s I saw her in the clinic last year for a second opinion. She has secondary progressive MS and had been on fingolimod for just shy of 4 years with an EDSS of at least 5.5. She was using a walking stick intermittently, particularly when mobilising outdoors and her EDSS was probably 6.0 or even 6.5 because on her own admission she was unable to walk 100m. She...

Pack your DMT tools for the long run!

Over the past year, I was privileged to counsel many people when starting an MS disease-modifying treatment (DMT), and reviewed even more pwMS whom had been on a DMT for a considerable amount of time. This has given me valuable insights in which drug-related characteristics matter in the long run, both literally and figuratively. First, there is no doubt about the fact that some drugs are more...

COVID Thursday Lunch

Benchmark of what we can hope when you get vaccinated…UK non-MS experience Impact of vaccination on SARS-CoV-2 cases in the community: a population-based study using the UK COVID-19 Infection SurveyPritchard, E., Matthews, P., Stoesser, N., Eyre, D., Gethings, O., Vitha, K.-D., Jones, J., House, T., VanSteenhouse, H., Bell, I., Bell, J., Newton, J., Farrar, J., Diamond, I., Rourke, E...

Early treatment is important to limit accumulation of disability

Iaffaldano P, Lucisano G, Butzkueven H, Hillert J, Hyde R, Koch-Henriksen N, Magyari M, Pellegrini F, Spelman T, Sørensen PS, Vukusic S, Trojano M. Early treatment delays long-term disability accrual in RRMS: Results from the BMSD network. Mult Scler. 2021 Apr 26:13524585211010128. doi: 10.1177/13524585211010128. Background: The optimal timing of treatment starts for achieving the best...

Happy dominos are the prettiest!

The prevalence of MS is not equally spread around the world, and is associated with latitude. Apart from some exceptions such as Sardinia, people living more closely to the equator are less likely to develop MS. Strikingly, when an individual moves before the age of 15 years old from for example Kenia (low MS prevalence) to the UK (medium MS prevalence), it will acquire the MS risk of his new...

Do you know your neurofilament level?

In my opinion, if the latter half of the 21st century in MS was defined by something it was the realization that neurofilament levels introduce clarity into individual disease courses that was not possible with clinical descriptors or MRI alone. The days of wandering what your MS is going to be like in the future may well be over as new tools such as neurofilaments become more readily available...

Long-COVID

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★ If anyone who has any doubts on the debate of getting or not getting COVID-19 and taking your chances without being vaccinated needs to read the paper below in this week’s BMJ on long-COVID. Long-COVID is a serious problem and should not be dismissed as something minor. Long-COVID is not simply post-viral fatigue. So if you are one of those people who is nervous...

Snooze it or Lose it

ProfG has repeatedly said ensure your sleep health is good. I sadly am now on course for a 30% increase risk of dementia….Maybe that,s the problem ;-)..I guess time for some more snoozing and snoring and no more 2 am zooms. Sabia, S., Fayosse, A., Dumurgier, J. et al. Association of sleep duration in middle and old age with incidence of dementia. Nat Commun 12, 2289...

COVID-19 vaccine thrombosis update

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★ Last week I heard from an Italian colleague that in Italy when many people arrive for the COVID-19 vaccine slot and find out that the vaccine on offer is the Oxford-AstraZenca (AZ) vaccine they say no thank you and leave. The main reason they give for turning down the AZ vaccine is the thrombosis risk. I wonder if these people are aware of the new data that...

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