Top tips for a stress-free summer holiday

Source MS Trust: Finding the right holiday for you.

It’s that time of year when everyone is jetting off on holiday, but when you have MS there’s often a bit more planning involved before you can pack up your suitcase and head to the beach. Where can you find accessible accommodation and attractions? How do you organise travel insurance? What are the rules around travelling with medication? These are just some of the many questions you may face. So whether you’re planning a holiday overseas or a last minute trip somewhere in the UK, this article goes through a few key things to think about in advance. Read on. 

Nanotechnology treatment shows promise against multiple sclerosis

Source m.phys.org: A nanotechnology treatment derived from bone marrow stem cells has reversed multiple sclerosis symptoms in mice and could eventually be used to help humans, according to a new study led by the University of California, Irvine researchers.

“Until now, stem cell therapies for autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases have produced mixed results in clinical trials, partly because we don’t know how the treatments work,” said corresponding author Weian Zhao, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical engineering who is affiliated with the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. “This study helps unravel that mystery and paves the way for testing with human patients.”

In past experiments, intravenously injected stem cells—taken from bone marrow and activated with interferon gamma, an immune system protein—often got trapped in filter organs before reaching their target. For this study, published in the journal ACS Nano, researchers avoided that problem by extracting nano-sized particles called exosomes from the stem cells and injecting them into rodents with MS.  Read on. 

Scientists edge closer to root causes of multiple sclerosis

Source Science Daily: Researchers have found mutations in 12 genes believed to be largely responsible for the onset of multiple sclerosis in families with multiple members diagnosed with the disease.

An international team of researchers led by the University of British Columbia has made a scientific advance they hope will lead to the development of preventative treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS).

In a study published today in PLOS Genetics, researchers found mutations in 12 genes believed to be largely responsible for the onset of MS in families with multiple members diagnosed with the disease.

“These genes are like a lighthouse illuminating where the root cause of MS is,” said lead author Carles Vilariño-Güell, assistant professor in the UBC faculty of medicine’s department of medical genetics and a Michael Smith Scholar.  Read on. 

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Researchers devise AI-based method of detecting response to MS

Source UCLH.nhs.uk: UCLH’s Biomedical Research Centre has supported the development of a new artificial intelligence-based method for detecting the brain’s response to treatment in multiple sclerosis (MS) that is substantially better than what a human expert is able to do using conventional techniques, representing potentially ‘superhuman’ performance in the task.

UCL researchers – led by Dr Parashkev Nachev and Prof Olga Ciccarelli, both of the UCL Institute of Neurology – in partnership with Kings College London researchers, hope in future this method will be used to predict an individual’s response to a drug before they start treatment, and which drug a patient should be given.

One way of assessing MS treatment response is by analysing patients’ MRI scans. At present, radiologists assess scans by counting the number of lesions and measuring lesion volumes, comparing these observations with those made on scans done before treatment started.

But the researchers’ new AI-based method of analysing scans means that regions of the brain can be analysed in much greater detail, and in a way which more closely reflects the complexity of the brain.  Read on. 

Volunteers needed

Volunteers needed to help with our collection at Millets Farm on Saturday 29th June, we have some time slots not covered at all. Please help if you can.