CategoryLab Lessons

Serum neurofilament light chain falls short of the bar

Is having a blood test version of this test simply a pipe dream I wonder? Will we have to do lumbar punctures to really find out what’s going on in the brain with MS? These are questions I grapple with on a regular basis in this field, and what complicates matters is that is positive data and negative data on blood NfL predicting disability progression in MS. This recent publication shows...

More evidence to support the smouldering MS hypothesis?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★ (neon tennis ball green #dfff4f) Yet another study showing that there are abnormalities in the so-called normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) that precede the development of new MS lesions.  This supports the hypothesis that there is something in the brain tissue that triggers the development of lesions and relapses. Could this be a virus, like an isolated...

Booster.. Not good news for anti-CD20..Time to get thinking caps on quickly because the same old same old is probably not going to be good enough.

We can learn from other conditions and if they are seeing the same thing to MS they are more likely to be true. Here is a view on arthritis Fagni F, Simon D, Tascilar K, Schoenau V, Sticherling M, Neurath MF, Schett G. COVID-19 and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases: effect of disease and treatment on COVID-19 outcomes and vaccine responses. Lancet Rheumatol. 2021 Aug 27. doi: 10.1016/S2665...

The New Normal

Lab lessons: Read the documents and dont rely on the headlines You were talking about getting a vaccine after waiting for B cells to repopulate and someone asked “What was the number for the B cells that met the fully reconstituted level for you?” This asks the questions What is the normal Level of B cells? 2. Why may it be important to know? To answer 2 first. It is increasingly clear to me that...

C-sections: how common are they in women with MS?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★ (Indian summer orange #FF7722) I have always said that women with early MS who start and extend families should have no reason to worry about additional problems with their pregnancy and childbirth because. It may be different for women with more advanced MS who are disabled. Maybe I should revise this general advice based on the study below.In this study, 15...

Microbiome is associated with MS

If you are interested you can have a read of this paper. I don’t comment much on microbiome (gut bacteria) stuff, because frankly I don’t understand it. Yep we are what we eat but which bacteria and how do they influence disease is complex. What are the pathways and are there any common componenents? Looking as a handful of papers their seem to be more options than “hot...

Black vs. White pwMS: Mirror, mirror on the wall?

Healthcare is a reflection of how a society cares for its most vulnerable individuals. It is a well-known fact that the U.S. spends more money on healthcare than any other country. Yet among wealthy nations, they have the lowest life expectancy. This illustrates the fact that delivery of medical care is only a minor element in the well-being of a society. Services like maternity leave, housing...

50+ shades of grey matter

One of the commonest myths about the brain is that we use only 10% of it. The origin of this probably goes back to the unsung hero of neuroscience, William James, when he was jokingly commenting on the fact that the functioning neurons sum up to only 10% of the brain cells and the 90% are supportive cells. Grey matter looks darker because it contains more dense aggregation of cells The grey...

How demyelinated are my MS lesions?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★ (Vermillion Monday code #E34234) There are very few what I call really deep-thinkers in MS research and Danny Reich is one of them. This paper from his group is so simple in its inception and execution; it is a fine example of seeing the woods for the trees. They use a relatively simple MRI technique to interrogate MS lesions to classify them as being...

BK a target for oligodendrocytes?

If you are interested you can read this review. I don’t normally post on these but is a new experience. Review in public with it be monstered or not. Maddalena Rupnik, David Baker, David L Selwood. Oligodendrocytes, BK channels and remyelination.  [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review] F1000Research 2021, 10:781 () Oligodendrocytes wrap multiple lamellae of...

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