Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Might Not Need To Reach the Brain To Have Clinical Efficacy

Source Technology Networks: Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have made an important discovery that could lead to more effective treatments for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Their work highlights the significant potential of drugs targeting a specific immune molecule (IL-17) implicated in MS.

The scientists, led by Kingston Mills, Professor of Experimental Immunology, and Aoife McGinley, Postdoctoral Fellow, in Trinity’s School of Biochemistry and Immunology have published their results in Immunity.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that affects around 2.3 million people globally and over 9,000 people in Ireland. It is associated with infiltration of immune cells into the brain and spinal cord that cause damage to nerves, leading to neurological disabilities.

However, the cause and precise immunological basis to this autoimmune disease are still unclear.  Read on.

Sanofi MS drug results set stage for extensive late-stage testing

Source With positive results from a mid-stage study in hand, Sanofi is pushing an experimental multiple sclerosis drug into an extensive late-stage research program comprised of four studies scheduled to begin in the middle of this year.

More details from the Phase 2b study will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting, according to Sanofi. In the meantime, the French pharma disclosed Thursday that its drug significantly reduced the number of new brain lesions seen in patients with recurring MS while also being well tolerated, with safety findings in-line with previous research.
Sanofi licensed the drug, which inhibits an enzyme known as BTK or Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, from Principia BioPharma in late 2017. While drugmakers have found success targeting BTK for cancer treatment, some have also been looking into its application in MS. Aside from Sanofi, Biogen and Merck KGaA have advanced BTK inhibitors into clinical trials of multiple sclerosis patients.  Read on.

Gene Variants Linked to High Childhood BMI Point to Higher MS Risk, Study Finds

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: Genetic variations that increase body mass index (BMI) in childhood are associated with a higher risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) regardless of a person’s vitamin D levels, a study found.

The study, “BMI and low vitamin D are causal factors for multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Neurology Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.

An individual’s risk of developing MS is influenced by both genetics and environmental factors. Among the known environmental factors are low levels of vitamin D, exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus, obesity, and smoking.  Read on. 

100 club winners for January

100 club winners for January
1st – Gloria, 2nd – Chris Webb, 3rd – Sarah Chappell
Sharing a prize fund of: £77.50.
We have had a number of people drop out of the 100 club recently.  It would be great if you could support it.  It is only £5 a month.  For more information speak to Reception or Sue.
You got to be in it to win it!!

Chiropractor appointments from March onwards

From 1st March,  Natalie, Chiropractor will be coming in fortnightly.  This means one Thursday we will have Chiropractor and the following Acupuncture.   

So from March:-

Thursday 5th March   acupuncture

Thursday 12th March chiropractor

Thursday 19th March acupuncture

Thursday 26th March chiropractor

Volunteers needed to help at the Centre

  1. H&S.  Mike our H&S volunteer has had to step down from this role which he has been doing for the last 8 years.  The role involves all health and safety within the centre,  keeping up to date on H&S regulations.  Mike is happy to do a hand-over and to be available with questions.  The role could be a few hours a month or more if wanted.
  2. Oxygen Operators.  We are short of volunteers to run the oxygen sessions.  Initially you would be trained as a number 2 operator and would follow a main operator for a few months until you are happy with oxygen operation.  This could just be a few hours commitment once a week or more if wanted.
  3. Handy Person.  Since we sadly lost Eddy, I don’t have anyone to do odd jobs around the centre, so someone good with tools and their hands would be great!

Please get in touch

Oxford UK Age February Update

Dear Readers,

We hope you have had a good January! 

A few bits of news for you, some from us and some from our partners.

We have just updated our class timetable. Here is the link LINK TO CLASS TIMETABLE

Additions and Changes to some of our Strength & Balance classes

Windmill Community Centre, Hempton Road, Deddington OX15 0QH Tuesdays 12.00- 13.00  New class

Eynsham Baptist Church, Lombard St, Eynsham, Witney OX29 4HT Wednesday 14.30 – 15.30 New class starting  19th Feb

Witney High Street Methodist Church (Bethany Room), 40 High Street, Witney OX28 6HG Wednesday 13.00 – 14.00 there was a class at 11.45 which is closing 12 Feb 

Milton under Wychwood Village Hall, Shipton Road, Milton under Wychwood, OX7 6JW Wednesday 9.45 – 10.45 and 11.00 – 12.00 there are now two classes

The Beacon, Portway, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 9BX Thursday 9.15 – 10.15 am and 10.30 – 11.30 am now two classes
Northcourt Centre, Northcourt Road, Abingdon OX14 1NS Monday 12.30 – 13.30 and  13.45 – 14.45 now two classes

M is for Motivation!

If you struggle to get motivated to be active, try some of these easy-to-do ideas to get started. We’d love to hear if you found any of them useful!     
 •    Stretch! Raise your arms up above your head and lengthen your whole body.
•    Listen to music, an audiobook or a podcast while lifting weights or going for a walk
•    Window shopping while walking and carrying shopping (cardio and weight training in one!)
•    Try a competitive sport (you’ll probably forget you’re even exercising as you’ll be so focused on the game!)
•    Take photographs on a walk. Being outdoors and getting that natural daylight is also great for your vitamin D levels. Just 5—15 mins of sunlight is enough to make a real positive difference. 
•    Instead of chatting with a friend over coffee, chat while walking, stretching, or strength training.
•    Walk or play fetch with a dog. If you don’t own a dog, offer to take a neighbour’s dog for a walk
•    Go for a run, walk, or cycle when you’re feeling stressed—and see how much better you feel afterwards. Try it!
•    Try a home exercise DVD (Generation Games at Home is free to request), or search the internet for free exercise videos. Set yourself a timer to do e.g. 10 mins and no more. It’ll be finished before you realise and just starting you may find you are motivated to carry on…
The Oxfordshire Care Awards 2020
Do you know someone who deserves to be recognised and celebrated at the Oxfordshire Care Awards 2020 – Inspiration for All? Formerly the Dignity in Care Awards, Age UK Oxfordshire is working in partnership with Action for Carers Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers to celebrate statutory and independent care providers, the community/voluntary sector and unpaid carers. There are 3 ways to nominate: pick up a nomination form from our office or call 01235 52046 to request one, download a fillable PDF nomination form or complete an online nomination form.

Nominations close on the 14th February 2020.

Visit We are currently looking for a male participant. Please call 0345 450 1276 for more details to take part!That’s all for now, but please do get in touch if there is anything we can help with, whether you tried any simple ideas to get motivated, or let us know what you’d like to us feature in future newsletters.

Best wishes,
Generation Games

Financial position of the Centre

The accounts for last year show that the Centre made a loss of approximately £10,000 in 2019. Whilst we have reserves that will cover us for the medium term, this is not a situation that is sustainable in the long term.

There are several ways that all members could help:
1. Suggested donations for treatments. These are kept as low as possible to enable as many people as possible to benefit. However, if you are able to give more, that would help. 

2. Collections. As in past years, we will be doing collections in the summer. Often, despite the fact that we have over 100 members, we don’t have enough people who are willing to give up an hour and a half to do this. Please sign up to do a slot if you are able. Actually, it’s surprisingly enjoyable and interesting. 

3. Sponsorship. Many of us can’t run marathons or climb mountains, but have children, friends, neighbours, etc who can and do. Would they be willing to choose us as their charity? 

4. Fundraising. Any ideas? Do you know anyone who works for an organisation that has a charity of the year?

5. Legacies. We should all update our wills every so often. How about leaving a legacy to OMSTC? 

6. 100 Club. For £5 a month, take part in a monthly draw. Half of the money raised is for prizes (1st, 2nd & 3rd), half the money goes to OMSTC. So obviously the more people are in it, the bigger the prize.

7. Home collection pots. Available from the Centre to put in your home so that visitors can put some coins in. It’s surprising how it all adds up.

8. Collecting tins. Put a collecting tin in your local pub or shop
All treatments at OMSTC for MS people are subsidised quite heavily. If we do not raise more income from collections, sponsorships, fundraising or legacies, the committee will have no option but to revisit suggested donations. It would be wonderful if every member could take action on one of the five points above.

Sue Doran

Centre Manager

New Study Asks: When Does MS Begin?

Source National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and collaborators report on a study that examined blood (serum) samples from 60 military personnel who went on to develop multiple sclerosis years later. Compared to samples from a control group, those who eventually developed MS showed higher than usual levels of a molecule (neurofilament light chain – NfL) that reflects damage to the nervous system.

  • The levels of NfL were increased as early as six years before the clinical onset of MS.
  • In addition, among those eventually diagnosed with MS, the levels of NfL increased over time while this was not the case for controls.
  • Other studies (such as this large Canadian study) have shown that years before they are diagnosed with MS, people can show a distinct pattern of doctor visits for specific problems.
  • Together, these studies suggest that changes in the nervous system related to MS begin well before there are perceptible symptoms, offering hope that there will be a way to predict and prevent MS before it becomes full-blown disease.
  • Studies of NfL in the bloodstream and in spinal fluid have been underway to better define how this biomarker may be employed to help detect and predict disease activity and response to treatments, not only in MS but in other disorders.

The team, including Drs. Kjetil Bjornevik and Alberto Ascherio, published its findings in the January 2020 issue of JAMA Neurology (published early online in September 2019).  Read on.