Brave The Shave Macmillan Fundraiser

Sue’s daughter is doing ‘brave the shave’ for McMillan, as her Granddad has cancer. Feel free to donate or share.

Hello. My name’s Lucy. I’m 19 and I live in Oxfordshire. I hope any money I am able to raise will go towards helping people who have been diagnosed with cancer to get support and the care that they need. Therefore, I am braving the shave. One of the reason I am braving the shave is in support of my Granddad. He turned 90 at the beginning of January but has been diagnosed with 2 types of cancer in recent months. He’s still going strong and has been able to get the help he needed. If you have any spare change, I hope you will consider donating. If you are unable to donate, please consider sharing and letting others know. Thank you x

Target: £300 | Shave Date: 18/04/19

Continuous Use of Gilenya for Up to 3 Years Can Lead to 50% Drop in Annual Relapse Rates, Real-world Study Says

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who began treatment with Gilenya (fingolimod) and stayed with it continuously showed a more than 50 percent reduction in annual relapse rates, a real-world study following these people for up to three years found.

Results were reported in the study “Real-world durability of relapse rate reduction in patients with multiple sclerosis receiving fingolimod for up to 3 years: a retrospective US claims database analysis,” published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.

Gilenya, marketed by Novartis, is an oral disease-modifying treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), approved in 2010. It acts by binding and modulating receptors — called sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor — on lymphocytes (adaptive immune cells). Read on. 


Masterswitch discovered in body’s immune system

Source Science Daily: Scientists have discovered a critical part of the body’s immune system with potentially major implications for the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases affecting humans.

Professor Graham Lord, from The University of Manchester, led the study, which could translate into treatments for autoimmune diseases including Cancer, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn’s Disease within a few years.

It is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation today.

The discovery of the molecular pathway regulated by a tiny molecule — known as microRNA-142 — is a major advance in our understanding of the immune system.

The 10-year-study found that microRNA-142 controls Regulatory T cells, which modulate the immune system and prevent autoimmune disease. It is, they found, the most highly expressed regulator in the immune system.

Professor Lord, led the research while at Kings College London in collaboration with Professor Richard Jenner at UCL.  Read on.

MS Helpline Volunteer advert 

Are you a good listener? 

100,000 people live with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK. Every one of them shares the uncertainty of life with MS.

People are most likely to find out they have MS in their thirties, forties and fifties; news that can be scary and heart breaking. MS can get steadily worse, or symptoms can come and go unpredictably throughout your life.

Could you spare a few hours a week to provide emotional support and information to those affected by MS? If so, the MS Helpline team would like to hear from you. 

We’re the UK charity for people with MS. We’re fighting for better treatment and care to help people with MS take control of their lives, and we’re funding research that we believe will beat MS for good. We’ve already made important breakthroughs, and big advances in MS treatments are possible within our lifetimes. With your support, we will beat MS. 

Time and Commitment

The MS Helpline is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm. All of our MS Helpline volunteers carry out their MS Helpline volunteering from home and give emotional support and information to people affected by MS by telephone. 

We are looking for volunteers that can commit to a 3 or 4 hour telephone shift a week.

You’ll receive full trainingstarting on May 15th. The first training session will be a two day training session in London on the 15thand 16thof May. The remainder of the training is carried out by weekly teleconference sessions. You will need to commit to attending a weekly training session every Wednesday, during the daytime, over an eight week periodand pass two assessments before being accepted onto the MS Helpline volunteer programme. The training sessions will be around 90 minutes long, plus there will be reading and some tasks in-between sessions. 

About you

We do not ask for previous experience although we are looking for people with good listening skills and a clear, warm telephone voice. You should have good IT skills as the role will require use of Microsoft Office such as Word and Outlook, internal databases and call handling system. You will receive training on the internal databases and call handling system.

We also ask that you have access to a confidential and comfortable working space, computer and broadbandsuitable for MS Helpline volunteering. We also ask that you have a landline for teleconferencing training sessions. If you are shortlisted for an informal chat, we will ask you about your home and equipment set up, as unfortunately not everyone may have the appropriate set up and equipment for MS Helpline volunteering. 

What will you get from volunteering with us?

  • A chance to learn new skills
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Be part of a supportive, caring team
  • Ongoing support for your development as a volunteer

Before applying please ensure you will be able to meet the following considerations: 

If you are shortlisted, there will be an Informal chat between 8-16thof April over the telephone – this will take approximately an hour. This will also include a short role play. Successful candidates will then need to attend the first training sessions in London on 15thand 16th May.

Following the initial two days of training, successful candidates will need to commit to attending weekly telephone/online training for eight weeks every Wednesday during the daytime (training approx. 1.5 hours per week).  

Please note we will be able to reimburse travel expenses for the training in London. 

If you think you meet the criteria and would like to find out more about volunteering, please contact Emma Chudley at or Tel: 020 8438 0837

The deadline for applications is the 1stApril at 9am. 

More sad news

It is with great sadness that I have to report that two of our members have sadly passed away; Martin Johns and Joy Drake. 

Martin contracted a serious infection and had to be admitted to hospital where he sadly died. Funeral details will follow and Martin had requested that money from a collection at his funeral should go to the Centre.  Martin had been a member of the centre for 13 years.  Our condolences go to Peta and his family. 

Joy had a liver stent fitted but when she came home she sadly passed away.  Our condolences go to Joy’s husband Norman and his family.

There are cards at the centre for anyone wishing to write a message.

It’s really not been a good start to 2019.

Brain Cells Key to Myelin Grown in Lab and Show Long-Term Survival Essential to Research, Study Reports

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: Stem cells tweaked in the laboratory have allowed researchers, reportedly for a first time, to generate and maintain ball-shaped cultures — called spheroids — of human brain cells in 3D that contain oligodendrocytes, the cells that produce myelin, along with neurons and the astrocytes that are essential to nerve cell health.

These long-surviving spheroids (which the researchers call “human oligodendrocyte spheroids”) will help scientists in studying how oligodendrocytes develop and interact with other brain cells, and what happens when they lose the ability to regenerate myelin — the protective coating on nerve cell fibres that promote cell-to-cell communication. Myelin’s loss, called demyelination, marks diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study “Differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocytes in human three-dimensional neural cultures” was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.  Read on.

Letter calls for ocrelizumab to be made available for people with PPMS

Source MS Trust: A letter signed by the MS Society, MS Trust, Shift MS and leading neurologists calls on NICE, NHS England and drug manufacturer Roche to make ocrelizumab available for people with primary progressive MS.

Back in September, NICE announced that it would not be recommending ocrelizumab as an NHS treatment for early primary progressive MS. This decision was met with anger and dismay from people with MS and MS charities, and the MS Society started a petition, calling for urgent action. 

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) can have a huge impact on the lives of people with the condition and their families. There are currently no approved treatments for PPMS and people with this form of MS experience disability significantly quicker than those with other forms. The lack of treatments that can modify their disease often forces them to rely on wheelchairs and mobility aids sooner, impacting on their independence.  People do everything they can to minimise the impact PPMS has on their lives, but what they really want is access to treatment which will slow down the progression of their disease.  Read on.

Cochrane Review of effectiveness of exercise to prevent falls

Source Independent Living: Exercise is frequently cited as a good way of helping to prevent falls, and now we have strong evidence that a programme of exercise can indeed prevent falls amongst older people living in the community.

Falls are a leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. Older adults suffer the greatest number of fatal falls and over 37 million falls are severe enough to require medical attention each year. 

New evidence has been published in the Cochrane Library, following a review produced by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia and Britain’s Oxford University.  Read on.