CategoryNews and events

MS@theLimits 2020

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer ★★★ The Barts-MS team is heavily engaged with the 2020 MS@theLimits meeting at the Royal College of Physicians. Two things to note is the gender bias in favour of female speakers. This was in response to criticism about the male dominance at the last MS@theLimits meeting in 2018. I am speaking today about some of my ideas around ‘the real MS’ or...

The Hopebird is singing

Today the EU licensed siponimod for the treatment of active secondary progressive MS. It has been a very long and winding road to get here. Siponimod is not an eagle, phoenix or maven, but rather a hopebird which symbolises the importance of “an optimistic approach to what lies ahead”. Less than a decade ago we were telling our patients with a progressive course that they were beyond hope, that...

You don’t have to lose your marbles by taking a statin

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer ★★★★★  As you know high-dose simvastatin 80-mg per day is being tested in a phase 3  trial in the UK (MS-STAT2). I have referred several patients to participate in this study. Despite this, there has always been a worry about this treatment strategy because statins have been associated with changes in cognition, which is why I have always said that if I needed a...

Re exercise in MS: should we be flogging a dying horse?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer ★★★  I am at the NMSS’ Pathways to Cures think tank where exercise is a major theme in terms of restoring lost function. A lot of discussions have been about how we motivate and get pwMS to exercise. Some suggested using motivational interviewing techniques and behavioural psychology to motivate and nudge pwMS to exercise. The elephant in the room is that some people...

Pathways to Cures

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer ★★★★★  I am en route to a ‘Pathways to Cures’ meeting in Washington DC hosted by the National MS Society. The aim of the meeting is to refine the ‘Stop, Restore, and End Pathways’ for MS and to develop an international consensus on what an MS cure looks like. I am honoured to be invited to participate in this meeting and would like to thank the NMSS for inviting me. ...

Ageing

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer ★★★  I belong to an international group that addresses important issues in multiple sclerosis that arise between HCPs and pwMS. For 2020 I have suggested we tackle the issue of ageing in MS. I have been asked why I think ageing an important topic in MS. I have put forward the following list of issues that have come to mind. Can you help me with suggestions or...

Induction-maintenance

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer ★★★  By definition an immune reconstitution therapy (IRT) for MS is given as a short course, i.e. as a one-off treatment in the case of HSCT or intermittently as in the case of alemtuzumab or cladribine. IRTs are not given continuously and additional courses of the therapy are only given if there is a recurrence of inflammatory activity. IRTs have the ability to...

Big Brother

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer  ★ I have been a big proponent of self-monitoring and using data and its interpretation to change my own and hopefully my patients’ behaviour. However, since reading Shoshana Zuboff’s book on surveillance capitalism over the Christmas break I am having second thoughts.  Surveillance capitalism is how tech companies are using the surplus data they collect on us to...

Watchful Waiting

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I have tried to include all the necessary information on MS DMT treatment decision-making into one easy to use and understand infographic. This infographic explains that when you see a patient with MS you have to decide if they have inactive MS or active MS. If they are active you have to decide how active their MS is (active vs. highly-active vs. rapidly...

2020 vision

Happy New Year. We hope you all had a good festive break. The following are some of what we at Barts-MS want to achieve and work towards in the next decade.  #PreventMSWe have little doubt that MS is a preventable disease and by tackling many of the environmental risk factors we may be able to turn around the MS epidemic and see a fall, or at least a levelling off, in the incidence of MS. This...

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