TagCOVID19

#T4TD colour vision

When your neurologist looks in your eyes with an ophthalmoscope he/she is looking for the telltale signs of previous damage to the optic nerve. The sign we look for is optic disc pallor. The optic disc is made up of nerve fibres from the retina, which then pass out of the back of the eye to form the optic nerve. If you have had optic neuritis in the past and have lost nerve fibres this can be...

#MSCOVID19: the storm

I have been asked many times about how COVID-19 is affecting our MS research programme. The short answer is massively and its true impact is yet to be realised because we are a far way off from anything that feels and looks like normal. We are still paralysed by the threat of a second wave of COVID-19; the social distancing requirements within the NHS means everything is going to be at half-mast...

#MSCOVID19: vaccine readiness

Will Prof G have to eat his proverbial hat? I have been telling people that an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is a long way away and that we shouldn’t expect a commercially available vaccine for another 12-18 months. Maybe I am wrong. The Moderna phase 1 results were published by the NEJM yesterday and are more impressive than I expected. These results are so important because the vaccine is...

#MSCOVID19 transient antibody responses

The MS community is panicking because a handful of pwMS on anti-CD20 therapy don’t seem to make antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2. The implications are that these patients are susceptible to reinfection. We can’t be sure of this as lasting long-term antiviral immunity may rely more on T-cell responses, in particular CD8+-T-cell responses, than antibody responses. Let’s hope this is the case. ...

#MSCOVID19 Ding-dong round 2

A 15-round heavyweight boxing match is a good analogy when it comes to describing our fight against the coronavirus. We have spent the last 3 months sparring and looking for each other’s weaknesses as we land a few body blows but no knock-out punch. Although we have flattened the curve we have a long way to go. The ultimate aim will be to knock-out the virus with a strategically placed blow to...

#MSCOVID19: summertime

To me three swallows make a summer; one from Sweden, a second from Iran and now a third from Italy. I have little doubt more will emerge soon. A few weeks’ ago I explained that having asymmetrical information is never a good thing. Tragically I have known about the data published yesterday on the Lancet’s pre-publication archive for several weeks. The new data shows that ocrelizumab-treated...

#MSCOVID19: National Seroprevalence Study

We were hoping to do a UK-wide seroprevalence study in UK residents with MS to see how many had seroconverted to become anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody positive and to see if there are differences in seroconversion rates between people on different DMTs. Unfortunately, our source of funding has fallen through. Based on recent insights we would predict that people on ocrelizumab would have lower titres...

COVID-19 has changed neurology

I generally don’t like to rock the boat on anything, this applies to what I wear, eat, the people I co-locate with and work. It should therefore come as no surprise that my response to our changing practice if anything luke warm. I understand fully (more so than you may credit) the impact that COVID-19 has had on hospitals, and continues to do so. But, in my opinion this should be temporary...

#MSCOVID19 two swallows don’t make a summer

As you know I have had to backpedal with my SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 advice in relation to anti-CD20 therapies. I have now had to reinterpret data on the role of immunoglobulins in protecting people from developing COVID-19 and severe COVID-19. I have been using the two Italian cases of X-linked agammaglobulinaemia who got COVID-19 and make a recovery as an argument that you don’t need B-cells and...

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