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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a severe autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that affects the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.

In MS, the protein coating called myelin, which protects nerves and helps electrical signals travel from the brain to the rest of the body, is damaged. The immune system, which usually fights infection, mistakes myelin for a foreign body and attacks it, stripping it from around the nerves. Exactly what causes this abnormal immune response is unclear, but research suggests a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.

The damaged myelin disrupts the transfer of nerve signals which may slow down, become distorted or stop altogether. This can cause severe symptoms ranging from vision loss through to muscle stiffness, loss of control over muscle movement, difficulties with balance and poor co-ordination.

Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS and it affects about three times as many women as men. The usual age at which diagnosis occurs is around 30, however, symptoms often first develop between the ages of 15 and 45.

Currently, there is no cure for MS but therapeutic approaches such as physiotherapy and steroid injections are used to manage the condition and ease symptoms.
GEMS project to explore events leading to MS in at-risk individuals

GEMS project to explore events leading to MS in at-risk individuals

A team of investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has launched a study of individuals at risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). By focusing on first-degree family members of MS patients, the research team seeks to better understand the sequence of events that leads some people to develop the disease. [More]
Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent in MS patients

Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent in MS patients

Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients than previously reported and correlate with brain lesions left by the debilitating disease, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania's Smell and Taste Center and the department of Radiology found. [More]
Researchers seek to better understand sequence of events that leads people to develop MS

Researchers seek to better understand sequence of events that leads people to develop MS

A team of investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has launched a study of individuals at risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). [More]
People with traumatic brain injuries may have buildup of plaques related to Alzheimer's disease

People with traumatic brain injuries may have buildup of plaques related to Alzheimer's disease

A new study suggests that people with brain injuries following head trauma may have buildup of the plaques related to Alzheimer's disease in their brains. The research is published in the February 3, 2016, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
Natalizumab shows relapse prevention benefits over fingolimod in MS

Natalizumab shows relapse prevention benefits over fingolimod in MS

Natalizumab may be superior to fingolimod for preventing relapses during the first year of treatment in patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis, observational study findings show. [More]
To reduce skin cancer risk, Vitamin D deficient Aussies should supplement

To reduce skin cancer risk, Vitamin D deficient Aussies should supplement

Health pioneers BetterYou are advising those looking to boost their levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ to supplement orally as a safer alternative to lengthy UV exposure. [More]
New way of using MRI scanners to diagnose multiple sclerosis

New way of using MRI scanners to diagnose multiple sclerosis

A new way of using MRI scanners to look for evidence of multiple sclerosis in the brain has been successfully tested by researchers at The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. [More]

Fingolimod trial INFORMS primary progressive MS strategy

Fingolimod is unable to slow disability progression or brain volume loss in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, show the findings of the INFORMS study. [More]
Immune signaling molecule in infected mothers linked to behavioral abnormalities in offspring

Immune signaling molecule in infected mothers linked to behavioral abnormalities in offspring

In 2010, a large study in Denmark found that women who suffered an infection severe enough to require hospitalization while pregnant were much more likely to have a child with autism (even though the overall risk of delivering a child with autism remained low). [More]
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor linked to slower cognitive decline in older people

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor linked to slower cognitive decline in older people

Older people with higher amounts of a key protein in their brains also had slower decline in their memory and thinking abilities than people with lower amounts of protein from the gene called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, according to a study published in the January 27, 2016, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
New findings offer roadmap for development of novel therapies to target common brain disorders

New findings offer roadmap for development of novel therapies to target common brain disorders

Scientists have pinpointed the cells that are likely to trigger common brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and intellectual disabilities. [More]
10 million of us lack sunshine vitamin

10 million of us lack sunshine vitamin

Health pioneers BetterYou have welcomed the views of Nutritionist Marilyn Glenville, that ‘oil based supplements can help you get your recommended dose of vitamin D’. [More]
Study identifies potential therapeutic targets for treatment of multiple sclerosis

Study identifies potential therapeutic targets for treatment of multiple sclerosis

Treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other inflammatory diseases may benefit by new findings from a study that identified potential therapeutic targets for a devastating disease striking some 2.3 million people worldwide. [More]

Perrigo closes previously announced acquisition of generic Retin-A portfolio from Matawan Pharmaceuticals

Perrigo Company plc announced today that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of a portfolio of generic dosage forms and strengths of Retin-A (tretinoin) from Matawan Pharmaceuticals, LLC. [More]
Study shows African-Americans may not be at higher risk for second stroke

Study shows African-Americans may not be at higher risk for second stroke

Even though young African-Americans are at three times greater risk of a first stroke than their white counterparts, they may not be at a higher risk for a second stroke, according to a study published in the January 20, 2016, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study is one of the first of its kind to look at race and second stroke risk. [More]
Scientists find new way to re-engineer body’s immune system to target cancer

Scientists find new way to re-engineer body’s immune system to target cancer

Scientists have demonstrated a new way of re-engineering the body’s immune system to target cancer, paving the way for a new generation of drugs, unprecedented in safety and effectiveness. [More]
Cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin could become effective treatment for Parkinson's

Cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin could become effective treatment for Parkinson's

A clinical trial using cholesterol-lowering treatment Simvastatin in people living with Parkinson's is getting underway in centres across the country -- with the hope that it could become one of a number of effective treatments available to treat Parkinson's. [More]
Using stem cells to tackle CNS disorders: an interview with Dr Stefano Pluchino

Using stem cells to tackle CNS disorders: an interview with Dr Stefano Pluchino

My laboratory’s long standing interest is the study of the signaling capabilities of stem cells, both under homeostatic conditions [More]
Processed foods may increase likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases

Processed foods may increase likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases

In today's hustle and bustle world, processed foods are commonplace time-savers. But that convenience factor may come with a bigger price tag than previously known, says an international team of researchers. [More]
New study outlines risk for in-hospital and out-of-hospital births in Oregon

New study outlines risk for in-hospital and out-of-hospital births in Oregon

The out-of-hospital birth setting in Oregon was associated with a higher risk of perinatal death, while the in-hospital birth setting was associated with a higher risk for cesarean delivery and other obstetric interventions (e.g., induction or augmentation of labor), according a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University. [More]
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