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Why Do Black Patients Fare Worse When MS Strikes?

TUESDAY, July 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- While multiple sclerosis can cause a wide swath of symptoms and challenges for anyone diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, a new study finds that race may play a role in disease severity.

Researchers discovered that Black individuals with MS may be more severely affected by the disease, but also that this added impact persiste...

First Signs of MS May Often Go Undiagnosed

Early symptoms of multiple sclerosis may commonly be missed for years before the right diagnosis is made, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that patients with MS had a higher-than-average number of medical appointments, with doctors of various specialties, for up to five years before their diagnosis.

And for the most part, those visits were for neurological symptoms consistent...

'MIND' Diet Can Help Preserve Brain in People With MS

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) – A diet designed to boost brain health appears to benefit people with multiple sclerosis (MS), new research suggests.

For the study, a team from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City examined 185 people diagnosed with MS within the past five years. Each had MRI brain scans and responded to detailed questionnaires.

The upsh...

MS May Not Affect Breast Cancer Prognosis

There's some reassuring news for women with multiple sclerosis (MS): Having the neurological disease won't affect health outcomes if breast cancer strikes.

"Although multiple sclerosis and its complications remain the most common cause of death in people with MS, cancer is the second or third most common cause of death," noted study lead author Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie, of the University of M...

Common MS Meds Might Be Less Effective in Black Patients

Black people experience more severe courses of multiple sclerosis (MS), and now new research suggests that drugs commonly used to treat this disease may not work as well or for as long in these folks.

"I was amazed," said study researcher Dr. Gregg Silverman, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. In a study of two drugs, "there was a dramatic and significant diff...

People With MS Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine: Expert

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be wondering if they should get a COVID-19 shot, and the answer is definitely yes, an expert says.

"The big takeaway message is the COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended for patients with multiple sclerosis," said Dr. Nancy Sicotte, director of the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Program at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

"If you have a...

How Climate Change Could Put More MS Patients in Danger

When temperatures rise, people with multiple sclerosis need to keep cool. Heat sensitivity is a hallmark of the central nervous system disorder.

So, what happens when warm weather spikes become more frequent because of climate change?

More MS patients end up in the emergency room. A new study found that during periods of unusually warm weather, they were more likely to visit the eme...

MS Doesn't Put Women at Higher Risk During Pregnancy

In a finding that should reassure women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who want to have a baby, new research suggests the disease doesn't raise the risk of pregnancy complications.

"Women with multiple sclerosis may be understandably concerned about the risks of pregnancy," said study author Dr. Melinda Magyari, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

"While previous research h...

Could Stem Cell Therapy Be a Breakthrough Against MS?

Stem cell transplants may have long-lasting benefits for some people with aggressive cases of multiple sclerosis, a new study suggests.

Italian researchers found that among 210 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who received a stem cell transplant -- with cells from their own blood -- two-thirds saw no worsening in their disability 10 years out.

That included 71% of patients with rela...

Drug May Boost Thinking Skills in People With Advanced MS

Researchers say a multiple sclerosis drug meant to slow physical disability also shows promise in improving mental acuity in people who are living with secondary progressive MS, an advanced form of the disease.

The new study found that people taking the drug, called siponimod, for one to two years showed improvements in "cognitive processing speed" compared to those who took a placebo.

MS Has Mixed Impact on Patients' Cancer Risk: Study

How does having multiple sclerosis (MS) affect a person's odds for cancer? The answer may depend on the type of cancer, new research shows.

The study found that MS patients do have much greater odds of developing bladder cancer compared to people without the illness. But there was good news, too: Their risk of breast and colon cancer is no higher than for people who don't have MS, accordi...

New Drug Offers Hope Against MS

A new immunotherapy that has shown success against multiple sclerosis in animals could be promising for humans, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia are studying a drug that would prevent immune system cells from attacking the myelin sheath, a protective layer that surrounds nerve cells. With MS, the body's immune system attacks the central nerv...

Pregnancy May Delay MS

Pregnancy can delay the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) by more than three years, researchers report.

The international study found those who'd been pregnant had their first MS symptoms an average of 3.3 years later than those who'd never been pregnant. Having carried a baby to term delayed MS onset by an average of 3.4 years, the researchers determined.

More than 2.5 milli...

Many MS Patients Struggle With Finances, Forgo Treatments

More than three-quarters of Americans with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience financial difficulties that often prevent them from getting treatment, new research claims.

"Our study results demonstrate the high prevalence of financial toxicity for MS patients and the resulting decisions patients make that impact their health care and lifestyle," said study author Dr. Gelareh Sadigh, an...

Obesity in Youth Could Be Big Risk Factor for MS

High rates of child and teen obesity could play a growing role in people's risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), British researchers say.

Prior research has suggested that 53% of MS risk is directly attributable to environmental factors. For example, up to 1 in 5 cases could be attributed to smoking, the research team noted.

Increasingly, obesity is also a big risk factor fo...

New Drug May Beat Older One at Preventing MS Relapse

A new injection drug can prevent multiple sclerosis flare-ups better than an existing medication, a clinical trial has found.

The drug, called ofatumumab, beat a standard MS medication in reducing patients' symptom relapses. It also slowed down the progression of their disability over six months.

The researchers said the findings, published Aug. 6 in the New England Journ...

MS Patients Turn to Marijuana, Other Alternative Treatments

Despite the existence of conventional medications to manage multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, a majority of patients also rely on alternative therapies, including vitamins, exercise and marijuana, a new survey suggests.

For the study, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland asked MS patients if they used "complementary and alternative therapies" -- medicines a...

Medical Pot May Help Many Battle Insomnia, Pain and Stress: Study

More and more U.S. states are allowing marijuana to be taken as medicine, and a new study suggests that users do indeed feel better.

In a survey of nearly 1,300 people with chronic health conditions, researchers found that those using "medicinal cannabis" reported less pain, better sleep and reduced anxiety.

They also tended to use fewer prescription medications and were les...

Icky Prescription: Could Hookworms Help Ease MS?

In a new trial there are hints, but no proof, that a wriggling intestinal parasite might help fight multiple sclerosis.

The lowly hookworm has for years been proposed as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune disorders.

But the first clinical trial testing the potential benefits of the parasite against MS has produced decidedly mixed results, ...

Mindfulness May Ease the Emotional Burden of MS

Mindfulness training may help counter the thinking and emotional difficulties caused by multiple sclerosis.

In a small test study, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who had four weeks of mindfulness training emerged with better emotional control and faster thinking.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves....

Dirty City Air Might Raise MS Risk

Air pollution might increase the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), Italian researchers report.

They found that in places with low levels of tiny particles of air pollution called particulate matter, the risk for MS was lower than in areas where those levels were high. In urban areas, the risk was 29% higher than in rural areas.

"Our findings show that the prevalence of...

Blood Test Might Predict Worsening MS

A new blood test might help doctors predict whether someone's multiple sclerosis may soon get worse.

The test looks for a substance called neurofilament light chain. It's a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die. People with higher levels of it were more likely to have worsening MS effects within the next year.

"In a disease like MS that is so unpredictabl...

Multiple Sclerosis Ups Odds for Heart Trouble, Stroke

Multiple sclerosis can cause weakness, pain, fatigue and vision problems. The disease also appears to increase the odds of heart disease and stroke, new research suggests.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disorder that can affect movement. The British study found that people with MS were nearly one-third more likely to have "macrovascular disease." Those are condit...

Study Ties Brain Inflammation to Several Types of Dementia

Brain inflammation may be more of a factor in dementia than previously believed, a new British study suggests.

"We predicted the link between inflammation in the brain and the buildup of damaging proteins, but even we were surprised by how tightly these two problems mapped on to each other," said co-author Thomas Cope of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Ca...

Lab Discovery Offers Promise for Treating Multiple Sclerosis

A new discovery could lead to better treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers report.

MS occurs when immune cells get into the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing nerve damage that results in neurological problems. However, the cause is unclear.

Studies in a mouse mo...

High-Tech 'Exoskeleton' Can Give Mobility Back to People With MS

Most people take the ability to move for granted, but not Kathy Miska.

Miska has had multiple sclerosis for two decades now, and her ability to get around has deteriorated steadily.

Now, a new robotic exoskeleton is giving her an opportunity to regain some of the mobility she's lost to the degenerative nerve disease.

"You can definitely tell when you get out of the suit....

Prices of MS Medications Keep Soaring

The cost of essential medications for multiple sclerosis have nearly tripled this decade, despite the release of the first generic MS drug, a new study shows.

The 2015 release of glatiramer acetate -- the generic version of Copaxone -- did nothing to halt skyrocketing prices for MS medications, said lead researcher Daniel Hartung. He's an associate professor of pharmacy with Oregon St...

Breastfeeding May Bring Added Bonus for Women With MS

Women with multiple sclerosis often find that their symptoms ease during pregnancy. And evidence is growing that breastfeeding might have a similar benefit.

A new review of 16 studies found that overall, women with MS who breastfed were 37% less likely to have a relapse within a year of giving birth, versus those who bottle-fed.

The findings do not prove breastfeeding is...

Virtual Doc Visits Suffice for Many With Neurological Disorders

If you have a neurological disorder, a video chat with your doctor might be as good as an office visit for checking on your condition.

That's the conclusion of researchers who analyzed 101 studies on telemedicine use for concussion, traumatic brain injury, dementia, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neuromuscular conditions and general neurology.

In...

FDA Approves First Generic Forms of MS Drug Gilenya

The first generic versions of the multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The three generic versions of Gilenya (fingolimod) capsules were approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults.

"Approving safe and effective generics so patients have more treatment options continues to be a prio...

Could MS Have Links to the Herpes Virus?

A variant of a common herpes virus may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), Swedish researchers say.

They analyzed the blood of about 8,700 MS patients and a control group of more than 7,200 people without MS. They were looking for antibodies against proteins of two variants (A and B) of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), which has been linked with MS.

MS pat...

Regular Vaccines Advised With Multiple Sclerosis

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you can and should receive recommended vaccinations -- including annual flu shots, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

"We reviewed all of the available evidence, and for people with MS, preventing infections through vaccine use is a key part of medical care," said guideline lead author Dr. Mauricio Farez.

"People with MS ...

For Medicare Patients, Costs of MS Drugs Rise Sevenfold Over 10 Years

Medicare patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) saw their medication costs soar by more than sevenfold over a decade, a new study finds.

It's no secret that the costs of MS drugs have skyrocketed in recent years. When the first so-called disease-modifying drugs were approved starting in the 1990s, they cost roughly $8,000 to $11,000 per year, according to the National Multiple Sclerosi...

Scans Reveal 'Smoldering' Spots in Brains Touched by MS

"Smoldering" spots in the brains of multiple sclerosis patients may signal more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease, researchers report.

Their finding may help test the effectiveness of new treatments for these types of MS.

The investigators used specialized brain scans to examine the brains of hundreds of MS patients and identified dark-rimmed spots that represent...

Surgery Not a Relapse Risk for MS Patients

Surgery is safe for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study finds.

"The idea that patients with MS might be at an increased risk of relapse following surgery isn't necessarily the case, so we need to be careful delaying important surgeries," said study first author Dr. Lindsey De Lott. She is an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

...

Obesity May Boost Odds for MS in Kids

Obese children may be twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis, a new study suggests.

And once obese children are diagnosed, they tend to have a poorer response to their initial treatment than average-weight kids do.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder caused by a misguided immune system attack on the body's myelin -- the protective sheath around nerve fi...

MS Linked to Higher Cancer Risk

MONDAY, July 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple sclerosis is a tough disease to manage and live with, but a new, long-running Norwegian study suggests it might also raise cancer risk.

Overall, the higher risk was small -- just 12%. However, the risk of certain cancers -- such as central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerve) cancers and urinary cancers were around ...

Obesity Could Worsen MS Disability

Obesity can worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms, researchers say.

Their study involved 140 patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS, which means patients have periods of attacks (relapses), followed by periods of remission with no or few symptoms. The researchers found that obesity at the time of diagnosis was associated with more severe disability.

The reason: incre...

MS Patients Now Pay 20 Times More for Drugs Than a Decade Ago

Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Parkinson's can be physically taxing conditions, but new research shows they exact a huge financial toll as well.

Over a 12-year period, out-of-pocket costs for Americans with these illnesses jumped, with the biggest increase seen among people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Those patients paid 20 times more for their drugs in 2016 than they did in 2004...

Many Misdiagnosed With MS

Almost one in five multiple sclerosis patients may be misdiagnosed with the autoimmune disease, according to a new study.

Of 241 previously diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers for treatment, nearly 18% did not actually have the autoimmune disease, the researchers found.

Those patients spent an average of nearly fou...

Second New MS Drug Secures FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved another new multiple sclerosis drug -- the second in one week.

Mavenclad (cladribine) pills can be used to treat relapsing forms of MS in adults, including relapsing-remitting disease and active secondary progressive disease. The drug is not recommended for MS patients with a course of the disease known as clinically isolated syndrome...

Common MS Treatment Can Bring Longer, Healthier Life

An older but still common multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment has an unexpected perk: It not only quells symptoms, but patients may also live longer.

New research revealed that patients taking a beta interferon drug for more than three years were likely to live longer than those who took one for a shorter time or who didn't take one at all.

"This study was the first and large...

FDA OKs New Drug for Multiple Sclerosis

A new pill for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Generally, relapsing MS involves periods of worsening symptoms followed by recovery periods. Over time, some disability follows independent of relapses, and this is called secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, or SPMS.

Approval of the medication Mayzent (s...

Managing MS

Proper treatment can help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) contend with their disease, an expert says.

"Patients get a predisposed feeling that their life is doomed. That it's going to be a complicated life, which isn't necessarily so," said Dr. Cary Twyman, a neurologist at Penn State Health.

"There are many misconceptions and false information about MS on the internet, ...

Extra Pounds in Childhood May Mean Higher MS Risk in Adulthood

Research has suggested that kids who enter puberty early appear to face an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) as adults.

But a new study asserts that it's actually the excess weight these kids carry around that might raise their odds for MS.

"Although we did see that people who enter puberty at an earlier age were more likely to develop MS, once we factor i...

Study Disputes Pregnancy Link to MS Relapses

A new study challenges the long-held belief that multiple sclerosis (MS) can flare up right after pregnancy in women with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease.

In that type of MS, symptoms arise, then go into periods of remission.

"These results are exciting, as MS is more common among women of childbearing age than in any other group," explained study author Dr. Anne...

Could Too Much Soda Worsen MS?

Popping open too many sodas or other sweetened beverages each day might worsen symptoms for people with multiple sclerosis, new research suggests.

It's important to note that the small study could only point to an association -- it couldn't prove that high soda intake causes MS symptoms to get worse.

But study author Dr. Elisa Meier-Gerdingh said it couldn't hurt to cut back...

Hot Cocoa May Ease the Fatigue of MS

Fatigue can plague many people with multiple sclerosis (MS). But a small new study suggests a soothing cup of hot cocoa may bring some relief.

Like dark chocolate, cocoa is rich in flavonoids, which are abundant in fruit and vegetables and have been linked with anti-inflammatory properties, explained researcher Shelly Coe, of the Center for Nutrition and Health at Oxford Brookes Univ...

MS Drug Costs Skyrocket After Medicare Rule Change: Study

Medicare rule changes could trigger a spike in out-of-pocket drug costs for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Due to rules that restrict access and require patients to cover more of the cost, those without low-income subsidies can expect to spend almost $6,900 a year out of pocket for MS medicines, researchers reported.

"It's a dysfunctional market that lacks the typica...

Stem Cell Transplant May Help Some With Aggressive MS

A stem cell transplant may help some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) when standard drugs fail, a new clinical trial finds.

The study focused on 110 patients with aggressive cases of MS: Their symptoms had flared up at least twice in the past year despite taking standard medication, and they'd already tried an average of three of those drugs.

Researchers randomly assigned...