CategoryCauses

ECTRIMS 2023: Smouldering MS

Would you believe it that the Wi-Fi password for the ECTRIMS 2023 was smouldering MS. I would therefore be remiss if I didn’t not to mention this to wrap up the ECTRIMS sessions. I don’t normally report on scientific symposia but in this one the discussion was interesting enough to warrant a mention. Profs Massimo Filippi and Heinz Weindl discuss how activated microglial cells can...

ECTRIMS 2023: Menopause

I have previously posted on the effect of menopause in women with MS, how the natural menopause results in worsening disability: Menopause in MS – The MS-Blog (multiple-sclerosis-research.org) Alyssa Nylander from UCSF now provides more conclusive evidence from a prospective longitudinal MRI study showing accelerated grey matter volume loss in the post-menopausal period. They demonstrated that...

ECTRIMS 2023: EBV-specific T cell activation after HSCT

There was an interesting session presentation by Jennifer Massey (Sydney, Australia) looking at latent EBV reactivation following aHSCT (autologous transplant). This is a well known complication of the full bone marrow transplant (or myeloablative bone marrow transplant; BEAM chemotherapy followed by ATG) used in blood cancers. But this really hasn’t been looked at in any great detail in MS...

OCB negative cases may not be MS

Having antibodies in the spinal fluid in the form of oligoclonal bands (OCBs) is a hallmark of MS. It’s discovery dates back to 1959 when scientists used agar electrophoresis to sub divide gamma globulins from a patient with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (caused by the measles virus). So it’s not specific for MS. However, it is present in 90-95% of cases of MS. What then of the...

C-section and MS risk

If you thought MS risk association was simply EBV and Vitamin D deficiency, and a host of other minor risk factors then you are about to be proven wrong. It would seem we’re now adding c-sections to the list. In a very large study conducted using the Norwegian birth registry reviewing mode of delivery from 1967-2003 (n=2,133,795), investigators found a statistically modest increase (roughly...

Do you know your QRISK3 score?

I must admit I’d not heard of the QRISK3 score before reading this publication in brain volumes by Queen Square, London. It is a score for estimating the future risk of heart attack or a stroke over the next 10 years. QRISK itself is a model comprised of algorithms generated from UK primary care databases. It includes obvious risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as diabetes, atrial...

CMSC 2023 – Epstein Barr Virus controversy

This year I was at the CMSC to speak about serum neurofilament proteins in Aurora, Colorado. Needless to say this one is ready for prime time and the audience was in agreement for once. Whilst I was there I also took the opportunity to see some other sessions that interested me. One that had me thinking was the debate session on ‘Tackling MS controversies: hot topics in multiple...

Dietary disadvantage in MS

Diet is one of those things that is difficult to put your finger on when it comes to health. In fact the nutraceutical industry makes a significant profit from our collective desire to improve our diet. In this 10 year study following the diet of MS patients in Australia they found that those with the greatest dietary inflammatory index (DII) score had a 2.24 times higher relapse risk than those...

Prevalence of MS in Asia

Environmental factors are one of the strongest determinants of MS in the Western world, particularly the effect of latitude and sunlight exposure. However, this doesn’t seem to hold true for Asia, which traditionally has the lowest prevalence of MS despite covering a large land mass. The low reporting in Asia may be factor with poor resources to monitor rare conditions as well as diagnose...

Sodium channels accumulate in MS

Sodium imaging. TSC was particularly meaningful when discriminating CIS vs. HC, with increased TSC being observed in CIS in NAWM and dGM. Increased TSC was also observed in MS patients, albeit with a lower contribution with respect to other features, and has been reported in literature from the early stages of the disease (Maarouf et al., 2017). It has been associated with the over-expression and...

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