AuthorBartsMSBlog

Guest post: Part three of choosing a DMT: Understanding risk

DMTs carry a much higher degree of risk than nothing at all and the reality of MS means that attitudes towards risk need adjusting. It is fine to come into the scenario assessing things in a pre-diagnosis manner, that is understandable. A patient needs educating about the whole post-diagnosis scenario now. The lens through which risk, regarding treatments, has changed. From the risks of opting...

Guest post: Part 2 of Choosing a DMT: the issues

Firstly, why the incredible hesitancy among some medics to flip the pyramid? Or at least break away from the Beta-interferons/Glatiramer Acetate as ‘safe’ fallback options, even when the research suggests that these days, the older first generation drugs give suboptimal outcomes compared to the modern crop. The MS neurologists that I spoke to all advocate versions of outlining the options...

Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis post-alemtuzumab

After yesterday’s post on alemtuzumab-related posts, many people are asking about haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which has been included as a complication of alemtuzumab treatment as is now in the SmPC (summary of product characteristics). HLH is a condition in which the body makes too many activated macrophages and lymphocytes. People with HLH usually develop systemic symptoms, which...

Alemtuzumab’s Article 20

Use of multiple sclerosis medicine Lemtrada restricted while EMA review is ongoing EMA has started a review of the multiple sclerosis medicine Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) following new reports of immune-mediated conditions (caused by the body’s defence system not working properly) and problems with the heart and blood vessels with the medicine, including fatal cases. As a temporary measure while the...

Guest post: Free online course now open!

Along with a great team from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania (Australia) and Multiple Sclerosis Ltd., I have spent the past year building a 6-week online course about MS for the MS community and the general public. The course, entitled “Understanding MS”, has recently opened for enrolments and will begin on Monday 29 April 2019. The course presents up-to...

Raising the Bar

You may recall last year the MS Academy held a meeting to address variance in the provision of MS services in the NHS. This meeting was very well received and several follow-on initiatives have been triggered as a result of the meeting. The MS Academy is now hosting a follow-on meeting called ‘MS Service Provision in the UK 2019: Raising the Bar‘. If you want to read about what...

Guest post: A patient’s point of view: choosing a DMT

This is a four-part post, where you’ll read about the experiences of newly diagnosed MS patients, plus my observations, with links to a some of the research underpinning them. The objective is to address some hidden and often difficult-to-address issues that come up when prescribing a DMT to a newly diagnosed patient. As a pwMS of 26y post-diagnosis in the UK, having worked in pharma, IT...

Health Vault: a failed experiment

Microsoft’s HealthVault promised to revolutionise the way medicine was done. The fact they are closing it down tells a story. Not enough vision and commitment. Very disappointing. Maybe the MS Brain Health consortium will do a better job with MS-Connect. What do you think? IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT YOUR MICROSOFT HEALTHVAULT SERVICE Microsoft HealthVault service to end November 20, 2019 This...

Does alemtuzumab treatment increase your chances of having a miscarriage or premature birth? A large systematic review of numerous studies involving women with ‘normal thyroid function’ showed a strong association between the presence of anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies and having a miscarriage and/or premature birth, i.e. the chances were increased by approximately 3.9x and 2.1x, respectively...

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