CategoryCauses

Playing second fiddle to the Swedes

Why can’t we use anti-CD20 therapies as immune constitution therapies? For some years we have been promoting our Barts-MS Essential DMT list to treat people with MS (pwMS) in resource-poor environments. One of the big guns on our list has been rituximab (anti-CD20).  One of the problems is that rituximab at a dose of 1g every 6 months is still too expensive to accessible for the vast...

What to do about my haloes?

Why do MS lesions with an iron halo continue to expand? The slowly expanding MS lesion or SEL is where the money or lack of money is. In my post ‘explaining why you are getting worse despite being NEDA‘ I mention SELs as one of the reasons that underlie progressive MS and are largely unresponsive or poorly responsive, to standard DMTs. Danny Reich’s team at the NIH have...

How Does Cladribine Work?

Here is a new offering from the CLAD lads :-), and follows on from the information that we got from the European Medicines Agency and from stuff in the public domain. This is not a pharma supported piece of work and they may have different views of how cladribine works or how they want to portray how they think this works, but as usual for us, it contains ideas of the unknown. Things we and...

What’s your excuse?

What will it take to get me to stop smoking? If you are a smoker and continue to smoke you need to think about how you want to manage your own MS. We debate endlessly about the lack of progress in developing effective treatments to slow down the worsening of MS and ignore the obvious. The first study below implies that by simply stopping smoking it will have a major impact on the outcome of your...

EBV infects T-cells

Why are experts important? In the so-called post-truth era experts are derided and ignored. Not at Barts-MS. Last Friday we held a lock-in to review and discuss our EBV research programme and bring in expertise from outside our group. We were fortunate to have card-carrying EBV experts, oncologists, B-cell biologists and protein and antibody experts around the table. A central plank of the EBV...

We sincerely apologize, but you don’t have MS

The rate of misdiagnosis of MS around the globe is roughly a quarter. We are so focused in making an early diagnosis in MS that before we know it, it’s a runaway train. Sometimes, even the best of us need to eat our words, and admit to having a made a mistake. The diagnosis of MS is not easy; how many of you have googled non-specific symptoms and come up with MS as a potential cause? The...

What is end-organ damage?

Help! How do I manage progressive brain atrophy in a patient who is NEDA-3? End-organ damage is a catch-all phrase for the degeneration of the brain; it occurs as part of the ageing process that some consider pathological and others as a normal fact of life. I have hinted that I consider it both because end-organ damage is potentially modifiable via lifestyle modifications and pharmacological...

Prof G how much brain have I lost this year?

How soon will MSers have brain volume measurements as part of their annual assessments? As a reader of this blog, you may be aware that ‘life is a sexually-transmitted age-dependent terminal neurodegenerative disease’. Homo sapiens, as a species, is pushing its biological capabilities to its limits. We have conquered most diseases that used to cull us before our mid-thirties and the end of our...

Beyond the B-cell

Do we have the right cell target in MS? Yes and no; we need a multicellular approach. Recently the attention in MS has been on the B-cell as if it was the holy grail of MS treatments. It is not. In several posts, over the last few weeks, I have made the case that the B-cell is important, probably as an antigen presenting cell, but it is not the ‘be all and end all’ of MS treatments. It is clear...

#MS-Selfie: infections and how to self-manage your bladder

In response to a comment from one of our readers, I am starting a series of posts called #MS-Selfie, which is derived from the term self-management. These posts are a long read but will help you manage your own MS. Over the last few weeks, many of my posts have focused on MS-specific mechanisms underlying why pwMS become disabled and how DMTs can delay, or prevent, this damage from occurring. The...

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