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.

McTimoney Chiropractic Care starting Thursday 28th February –

Whilst chiropractic cannot halt or reverse MS, it can offer symptomatic relief of pain which comes from wheelchair use, trauma from falls and altered posture. Treatments can take place either on the bench or wheelchair users restricted in mobility can be adjusted in their chair if preferred. 
Chiropractic focuses on musculoskeletal care and spinal health and is a hands-on, evidence based form of spinal and joint manipulation. In a study of chiropractic care conducted amongst members of UK MS therapy centres, 42% of those surveyed utilised chiropractic care with the majority stating that they did so to manage their MS symptoms. “It likely that most utilise chiropractic care to manage pain, as this is one of the commonest symptoms”. (Carson et al, 2009. Chiropractic care amongst people with multiple sclerosis: A survey of MS therapy centres in the UK) Utilising the gentle McTimoney technique, alongside soft tissue therapy, Natalie and Andy are delighted to be able to offer chiropractic care at the Centre. Practitioner:       Natalie Day and Andy AttwoodWhen:          Thursdays 10am to 1pmLength:         45 minutes 

Rituximab beneficial in secondary progressive MS

Source Medicalxpress:  For patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), treatment with rituximab is associated with a significantly lower Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score and delayed progression, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Neurology.
Yvonne Naegelin, M.D., from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from patients with SPMS at three multiple sclerosis centers from 2004 to 2017. The EDSS score was compared for 54 patients with SPMS treated with rituximab and 59 patients not treated with rituximab; after propensity score matching, 44 pairs of patients were included. Patients were followed for up to 10 years.  Read on. 

You can now apply or renew your Blue Badge online

Source Disability Rights UK: You can now apply for a Blue Badge, or renew your old one, within half an hour thanks to a new online service launched by the Department for Transport.
The Blue Badge scheme allows disabled people to park closer to their destination than other drivers, as they are less able to take public transport or walk long distances.
In the past, on average, it took 17 days to apply for and get your Blue Badge – or 28 days if you needed a medical assessment.  By claiming online an application should only take 13 minutes – or up to half an hour if you need to give more information.
Apply for or renew your Blue Badge online
Find out more about the Blue Badge Scheme
You can still apply for a Blue Badge offline if you wish.