CategoryPolitics, campaigns and information

Skint Britain

Did anyone watch ‘Skint Britain: friends without benefits’ on Channel 4 in the week? ‘Skint Britain: friends without benefits’ looks at the rollout and impact of the new Universal Credit scheme for British people who are unemployed or unable to work. The ‘big idea’ behind universal credit is to incentivise people who are unemployed to work or at least to be shown to be actively seeking work in...

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...

MS in a snapshot: Global Burden of Disease study 2016

Trying to understand disease, especially rare disorders, at a global level is a Herculean task; not only from a resources perspective, but also from the cost and logistics involved. Before, the Global Burden of Disease study presented here, there was the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation that provided up to date figures on the global epidemiology of MS back in 2008. So, almost a decade...

Supporting the NHS & social medicine

Why don’t you support private prescribing and HSCT abroad? The social media response to yesterday’s Barts-MS Hangout on HSCT has been rather mixed. A lot of commentators are being critical of us for creating too many hurdles regarding the access to HSCT and that we shouldn’t stop our patients going abroad for treatment. From my perspective, going abroad or to private units in the UK for...

The next generation

Training the next generation of MSologists is one of my priorities. I helped arrange and teach on the Pan-London Calman Specialist Registrar (SpR) teaching day yesterday. It was great to see so many young trainee neurologists attending; thank you. And to the speakers for giving up their time to teach and inspire the next generation of neurologists to become MSologists; thank you. I hope you all...

MSexism 4: The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is alive and thriving in neurology. That’s not only bad for women MS experts, but for all of us with the disease. One of my best moments of 2018 came at the end of a Thursday afternoon at the ECTRIMS October conference when dozens of women MS clinicians and scientists crowded into a room – and launched the International Women in Multiple Sclerosis group. Their aim is to...

Welcome to the new Barts-MS blog

Welcome to the Barts-MS blog, now that we have moved platforms! We hope you like the new, responsive design. And we’re grateful to all those who tried our prototype and gave their feedback. The main changes are: A new menu with updated pages. We hope we have included most of the activity of the Barts-MS team. And we’ll keep updating you on our projects, activities, campaigns and studies...

What the eye doesn’t see?

I saw someone with possible MS earlier this week and he had been told that he couldn’t have MS because he only had one detectable lesion on his MRI. Is this correct? The problem: ‘MS has become an MRIscopic disease’. The diagnosis of MS remains clinical and is underpinned by the need to show (1) dissemination in time (typically new activity 4 weeks apart or the presence of...

MMR to test or not to test?

Can I assume you know about Andrew Wakefield and the fake link between the MMR vaccine and autism? Despite Wakefield being discredited and struck off the medical register in the UK he, and the ‘Anti-Vax’ brigade, is still having a profound impact on society, which is gradually beginning to filter down to how we manage MS. Why? The number of children receiving the MMR vaccine in...

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