CategoryLifestyle and self-management

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...

To vaccinate or not?

Should your vaccine status be checked and updated before you start treatment? As part of our programme to derisk disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for pwMS in our service, we are reviewing our vaccination policy. One issue that has emerged is the possible need to boost immunity to certain types of bacteria that are known to pose a risk in patients on long-term immunosuppression, in particular B...

HSCT Citizens’ Jury

Prof G, why do you talk with a forked tongue? I am taking stick from many readers about my stance on HSCT. I implied in a comment yesterday that I would seriously consider it as a first-line treatment if I had MS, but in reality, I don’t offer or support HSCT for my own patients with MS as first-line therapy. Some readers are accusing me of double-standards. Should I walk the talk and put my head...

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...

Guest post: Sex and MS

Just as in anyone’s life, sex with MS can be fun, intense, routine, boring, passionate, flirty, dirty, easy, comforting, fraught with difficulties, or all of the above! Sexuality and sensuality is an integral part of being human and, depending on the individuals involved, has varying degrees of importance at different times in a relationship. For this article, I’m leaning heavily on an excellent...

#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...

The Learner

Do we need to include cognition as a treatment target in multiple sclerosis? In every clinic, I do patients with MS complain of cognitive symptoms. Either it is increasing forgetfulness, difficult multi-tasking, the inability to learn and use a new technology or cognitive fatigue. Case study: One of my high functioning patients, who worked in a large City law firm, simply could not keep up and...

Self-neglect: the hidden burden of having MS

You may recall my post on using the foot examination to look at the state of my patients’ toenails as an indicator of neglect. Another window is the mouth and the state of a person’s teeth and gums. Self-neglect is a problem in MS. But how big is the problem? The study below using an online survey shows that pwMS have a greater oral health burden than the general population; i.e. they...

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