Covid Vaccine and MS – your questions answered

You may recall that a few months ago Consultant Neurologist, Professor Alasdair Coles, spoke to the MS Trust about the Covid vaccine and MS.

This week he has had his first vaccine and returns to answer some of the questions the MS Trust has been asked about Covid-19 vaccines for people with MS.

You can find more information about MS and Covid on the MS Trust website here:

Do you live with Multiple Sclerosis?

Researchers at the University of the West of Scotland invite you to be a part of an online focus group.

The focus group is open to anyone with MS who is a UK resident and over 18 years of age.  The session will last approximately 1 hour, discussing your experiences of living with MS.  Your input will ensure they tailor their future MS research to directly benefit their participants.

Estimated date: 15th – 26th February 2021.

To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the project researcher, Luke Cerexhe via email

Project Supervisor: Prof Nicholas Sculthorpe,


Novartis receives positive CHMP opinion for Kesimpta® (ofatumumab)

Source Novartis receives positive CHMP opinion for Kesimpta® (ofatumumab), a self-administered treatment for adult patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis with active disease.

•   CHMP opinion based on two Phase III ASCLEPIOS studies that met clinical and MRI endpoints, demonstrating a significant reduction in the number of relapses vs. teriflunomide, evaluated as the annualized relapse rate[i]

•   Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) is the most common form of MS, with around 85% of people in the UK considered to have relapsing-remitting MS at the point of diagnosis[ii]

•   If approved, ofatumumab will be the first and only self-administered, targeted B-cell therapy to slow disease activity in patients living with RMS1

•   Self-administration at home gives RMS patients more flexibility and reduces the burden on patients, HCPs, and the NHS as it faces capacity challenges in light of COVID-19[iii

Novartis today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion and recommended granting marketing authorization of Kesimpta® (ofatumumab) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) with active disease, defined by clinical or imaging features. If approved, ofatumumab has the potential to become a first-choice treatment option for patients with RMS that can be self-administered once monthly at home via the Sensoready® autoinjector pen.

Read the full article here.

Exercise is good for your brain

Interesting article from the MS Trust website – It is well-known that exercise is good for physical and mental health, but less well-known that exercising also protects and repairs the structures of the brain.  This review summarises animal and human studies which demonstrate how physical activity has a direct beneficial effect on brain structures and biological processes.

Animal studies have revealed that physical activity increases the production of new neurons, improves the wiring which connects different parts of the brain, reduces demyelination and promotes remyelination. Recent research in mice has also provided evidence that exercise may create an environment in the brain which is more favourable for the actions of the remyelinating drug clemastine. The authors propose the term “MedXercise” to describe the synergistic effect seen when physical activity is paired with medication.

Studies in people with MS have shown that exercise leads to improvements in the wiring within the brain, reduced brain volume loss, reduced lesion numbers, and reduced activity in brain areas which had been compensating for loss of function.

The reviewers conclude that data from animal models and from people with MS support the view that exercise improves brain and spinal cord structures and functions but acknowledge there is still much to learn.

Read the study in more detail here

Coronavirus advice for people with MS

With the Covid guidelines frequently changing, what actually is the advice for people with MS?

It all depends on where you live.

Here is a list of reliable webpages where you can get the most up to date advice. Whilst every care has been taken to only share reputable sites, these are beyond our control. 

MS information

MS Society

MS Trust


Gov UK:


To request a test:…


‘Please give me space’:

Upright Mobility Walker

This was donated to us and it looks new, they are selling new on ebay for around £300.  If anyone would like it please make a reasonable offer, speak to Sue.

Upright Mobility Walker, lightweight rollator walker, 4 wheel walking aid
Details: The UpWalker Lite is a lighter smaller model of the original UPWalker, the revoluntionary new mobility product that enables users to walk upright in a safer, more secure posture as compared to traditional walkers and rollators that cause users to hunch over.  It is light and easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces, easy to lift and better to transport and suited for smaller, frailer users.  
Specificiations: User Height Range 4’7″ – 5’10″User Weight Capacity 136kgLength 29″Width 24.8″Armrest Height Range 34″-45″Seat Width and Depth 18″W x 10″ DSeat Height from Ground 21.5″Sit-to-stand Handle Height 27″Unit weight 7kgWheel size 8″ Front, 6″ RearFolded Dimensions:Length 29″Height 40″Width 8.5″

Procedures for ALL therapies – commencing 5th January 2021

Commencing 5th January 2021

  • Arrive at the centre and ring the doorbell by the front door, DO NOT ENTER the building.  If someone else is waiting, wait at the bottom of the ramp until the walkway is clear AND KEEP A 2 METRE DISTANCE AT ALL TIMES
  • Someone will come to the front door and take your temperature and ask you to confirm you have no symptoms of Covid19.
  • Before entering the centre, use the automatic hand sanitiser to the right of the front door.
  • You are required to wear a mask that you can either bring with you, or make a donation for one provided at the centre.  (Centre masks are CE Certified masks, Type IIR)
  • You can bring a carer to help you into the centre, if this is necessary, but request that they do not stay, but remain contactable.


MONDAY 10.30, TUESDAY 10am and 11.30am, THURSDAY 10.30am, FRIDAY 10.30am

  • IF YOU ARRIVE EARLY PLEASE WAIT IN YOUR CAR.    When your temperature has been taken you need to go STRAIGHT into the chamber with your mask on.  THERE SHOULD BE NO CHATTING IN THE CHAMBER.  Bring your own water and container and take home to wash.  Bring your own blanket/hot water bottle if required and take home.
  • We will only be able to accommodate 3 people per oxygen session due to social distancing at sitting positions 1,3,5 or 2,4,6
  • Keep your paper mask on until pressurisation of tank reaches half way, the operator will tell you when this is.  Masks must be kept on until the end of the session/or until it is hard to breath then remove oxygen mask and put on paper mask.
  • It is your responsibility to sanitise your OWN masks AT HOME using soap and water, make sure you dry properly and remember to bring to each session. 
  • After the session volunteers will completely sanitise the chamber using wipes, this includes door handles, chair, chair arms etc.
  • Oxygen pipes will be sterilised in Milton solution after every session





  • Bring your own towel AND gown/blanket as required.
  • DO NOT HANG AROUND IN RECEPTION, TURN UP AT YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME, there will be no sitting in reception.  Leave the centre straight away.

Other relevant notes:

  • If you feel unwell you should not come in and if you feel unwell within 2 weeks of being at the centre you will need to tell us promptly
  • We can now take payments by card, please do so if you can, OR payments can be made online (ask for details)
  • MS Patients will get priority over appointments
  • No socialising AT ALL, so no tea/coffee/biscuits, sorry ☹
  • You should leave the centre immediately after your appointment.
  • Everyone should sanitise the toilet after each use, using the sanitising spray in the toilet and paper towel, then dispose of in the bin (NOT DOWN THE TOILET)
  • There is also 5 litre hand sanitiser on the reception table
  • These procedures are constantly changing, so please read them if they are sent to you again as they may have been updated.

Raffle Prize Winners

OMSTC via 12:35 PM (2 hours ago)
to Karen

1st prize, Risi,

2nd prize, Linda

3rd prize, Rebecca

4th prize, Amanda

5th prize, Nick

Many thanks for buying raffle tickets, you raised £225 

Wishing you all a different ‘Merry’ Christmas and a hopefully much better New Year!

Updated procedures during Tier 4

Unfortunately from Boxing Day Oxfordshire goes into Tier 4.  Following guidance from MNSTC a decision has been made that we cannot offer complimentary therapies.  For our centre we can only offer physiotherapy, osteopathy, footcare and oxygen which are classed as ‘essential’ therapies, which means massage, acupuncture and the gym will not be on offer. This will come into effect from Boxing Day.  This is very unfortunate and not a decision that has been taken lightly.  I hope we can get our complementary therapies back running very quickly.  
Procedures have also had to be tightened, please read the updated procedure attached.   Of note:

  • Please only turn up at your appointment time,
  • If you arrive early please wait in your car.
  • No seating available in reception.
  • No hanging around in reception before or after appointments
  • No chatting in the oxygen chamber. 
  • Payments can be made online by bacs to avoid people in reception (ask for bank details)
  • Please read the updated procedures.