CategoryNews and events

“Useless Lives” – the Dark Story of MS and the Nazis

At the start of the UK Disability History Month, let us not forget… By Rachel Horne I never thought I would end up writing the words Nazi and multiple sclerosis in the same sentence.  Then I went to Auschwitz.  After passing under the infamous Arbeit Macht Frei “Work Sets You Free” gate, our group followed the tour guide into Block 5. There inside the dim, low-ceilinged room, I was...

Unaccountable

The European Union and its Institutions have been heavily criticised as part of the Brexit debate as been undemocratic and unaccountable to the man or woman on the street. However, it is only when their decisions impact on you, or your patients, that you realise that these critics have a valid point.  Last week the European Medicine Agency’s safety committee (PRAC or Pharmacovigilance Risk...

NICE & Medicinal Cannabis

Last week, NICE finally published the long-awaited guidance on Cannabis-based medicinal products.  (www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG144).  This has been extensively reported on in the mainstream media and whilst it is a step in the right direction for the use of Sativex® for patients with spasticity associated with MS (and a reversal on the initial draft guidance), it won’t allow all...

The Time-to-Think DMT

At an MS Masters Forum in Rome yesterday I was teaching MSologists and MS clinical nurse specialists using a recently created board game, which I like to think of as being MS Monopoly. MS monopoly is based on a game of chance that lets you discuss case scenarios and make treatment choices. Then you roll a dice, which determines the outcome of your choice.  Two things emerge from playing the game...

Alignment

Professor Gavin Giovannoni (Prof G) and his team of clinicians and researchers at Barts and at the Royal London Hospital — like many of their medical colleagues — are in frequent contact with pwMS (people with multiple sclerosis), many of whom are untreated. The reason that these pwMS are on no treatment is often economic. No treatment due to economic reasons and can occur in both developed as...

Alcohol Awareness Week

This week is alcohol awareness week in the UK and the NHS is encouraging its patients/clients to look in the mirror and ask whether or not they are drinking too much. As part of the holistic management of MS and our marginal gains strategy for managing MS, we are encouraging all pwMS to do the same. Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for MS in several ways. It disrupts your sleep pattern and...

Affordable DMTs

My post on the ‘Damp Squib’ has upset several close colleagues. I need to explain my reasons for doing it; the main one being is that I am very frustrated that change happens so slowly, whereas shit happens so quickly. The catalyst for our Barts-MS off-label initiative was my sabbatical 5 years ago and kicked-off with a blog post I did on the 3rd October 2014. I am ashamed that it is now 5 years...

Azathioprine revisited

Has azathioprine been given a fair chance as a treatment for MS?  I have noticed over the years that most neurologists, including myself, don’t always use azathioprine correctly. In general, we under-dose azathioprine. Why?  As an example, one of my patients with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease of the nerve-muscle junction, came in this week with a relapse. He weighs 107kg and was on...

GROLDI hits a wall

To help with our #OffLabel campaign to help HCPs treat pwMS in resource-poor environments I asked Gisela Kobelt, a health economist, who I have worked with for many years for help. What she said to me made me realise that the hurdles we face are much higher than I expected.  These are her relevant comments: “The economic case for any treatment in resource-poor countries is difficult, simply...

Food Coma @MSTrust conference

After my food coma blog post and survey in January, I was asked by the MS Trust to talk about food coma at their annual conference in Hinckley. It is always great to speak at this meeting. The audience is always very enthusiastic and I have had a lot of questions after my presentation. I used my talk to discuss some of the science and issues around excess sugar consumption. I suspect that my food...

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