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MS News 

This page documents breaking multiple sclerosis news and research stories as they occur during the month.

For news and research for the previous 12 months please go to our MS News archive.

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Our news archive includes ground-breaking news and research from the past 12 months. To make your search easier try to pick a key word or phrase. People often search for ‘MS drugs’ or ‘treatment trials’.

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JC Virus ‘carries mutation that amplifies PML’ (24/05/16)
A mutation in a mouse model of the John Cunningham (JC) virus, which causes progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), allows the virus to evade the host immune responses in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study into the mechanisms of PML...Read more

Patient with Tysabri-linked PML recovering after new treatment (20/05/16)
It has been reported that patient who developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) after natalizumab therapy, found the immune-boosting molecule interleukin-2 (IL-2) helped tackle this life-threatening condition...Read more

New drug ‘promises’ to reverse the progression of Multiple Sclerosis (18/05/16)
Researchers are zeroing in on what looks like an effective treatment for the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis...Read more

Orkney has 'higher vitamin D levels than mainland' says study (18/05/16)
People in Orkney have higher levels of vitamin D than people on mainland Scotland, a study has suggested...Read more

Study of immune system revives possibility of link between MS and viruses (18/05/16)
Researchers investigating immune B-cell response to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) say they have found that it may correlate with the amount of brain-specific B-cells in the blood — a marker of multiple sclerosis (MS) — and with higher disease activity. The findings were published in the journal Viruses, in a study titled “The Correlation between the Virus- And Brain Antigen-Specific B cell Response in the Blood of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.”...Read more

Differences in gut bacteria linked to MS in children (18/05/16)
In a recent study, children with multiple sclerosis had differences in the abundance of specific gut bacteria than children without the disease. Certain types of bacteria were either more or less abundant in children with multiple sclerosis. In particular, there was an association between multiple sclerosis and an increase in gut bacteria that have been linked to inflammation and a decrease in gut bacteria that are considered anti-inflammatory...Read more

Researchers claim to be able to neutralise damaging cells (13/05/16)
A team from the Research Center Hospital of the University of Quebec-Laval say they have found how to neutralize the cells that attack the brain, spine and brain...Read more

Mitoxantrone may be linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer (12/05/16)
The multiple sclerosis drug mitoxantrone may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology...Read more

Study Shows Lack of Palliative Care Coordination in MS Care (12/05/16)
Patients with neurological conditions are likely to need palliative care near the end of their life, but UK researchers say they have found a wide variation in the coordination of palliative care and neurological care services—with multiple sclerosis (MS) patients having the least integration...Read more

Researchers say your gut is like a 'remote control' for your brain (11/05/16)
What if doctors could change your diet and reduce the chances of developing multiple sclerosis? That’s what Brigham and Women’s researchers are suggesting, after discovering the bacteria living in the gut and the way it processes certain foods can control inflammation and neurodegeneration...Read more

Imaging helps scientists to learn more about myelin (11/05/16)
The evolution of the myelin sheath throughout childhood has been visualised for a first time, and the findings reported in the study Mapping An Index Of The Myelin G-ratio In Infants Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, published in the journal NeuroImage...Read more

Real risk of ‘rebound syndrome’ after stopping Gilenya treatment, study claims (05/05/16)
‘Rebound syndrome’ following cessation of Gilenya for multiple sclerosis occurs at a clinically relevant rate, shows research, prompting the need for further study on how best to sequence and discontinue such drugs...Read more

Study claims yoga may help reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms (04/05/16)
Yoga and aquatic exercise may reduce certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) such as fatigue, depression and paraesthesia, a new study suggests...Read more

New injectable multiple sclerosis drug given go-ahead (29/04/16)
A once-monthly injection for multiple sclerosis from Biogen and AbbVie has been recommended for approval by European regulators, paving the way for its launch in the coming months...Read more

Gut bacteria affects myelin and ‘induces depression’ – study (28/04/16)
Researchers at the Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair, a part of Mount Sinai, say gut bacteria produces compounds that have been seen to affect the myelin content in mice and cause social avoidance behaviours...Read more

MS Trust report highlights ‘second class service’ for progressive MS patients (27/04/16)
People with progressive MS make up around half of the UK’s 100,000 MS population, but according to a new report by the MS Trust growing pressures on NHS services mean they get much less support from specialist health professionals than people with the relapsing remitting form of the condition...Read more

New database for sharing MS trial data (26/04/16)
A new database containing nearly 2,500 patient records from the placebo arms of nine multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trials is now available for research by qualified investigators. ..Read more

Tysabri ‘no help in secondary progressive MS’ (26/04/16)
Tysabri didn't slow disability progression in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS)....Read more

Experts agree on vitamin D benefits (26/04/16)
A discussion organised by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres (CMSC) has considered the role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis (MS)...Read more

Test identifies young MS patients at increased risk of impaired cognition (22/04/16)
A test that measures olfactory dysfunction is an easy method of identifying patients with paediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) who are at increased risk of cognitive impairment, according to a study presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN)...Read more

DNA tests on two million to revolutionise 'smart drug' treatments for diseases (22/04/16)
Scientists are set to revolutionise medicine by sampling the DNA of two million people to develop new drugs, the Daily Mail reports...Read more

Link between MS disease activity and food allergies discussed (22/04/16)
New data demonstrates increased disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and a history of food allergies, according to a study presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN)...Read more

Stopping smoking slows brain volume loss (22/04/16)
Stopping smoking could help to slow brain volume loss in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to data presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN)...Read more

‘No evidence of disease activity’ for multiple sclerosis patients on Ocrelizumab (22/04/16)
Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) taking Ocrelizumab are more likely to achieve no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) than those taking beta interferon, researchers from the pivotal OPERA I and OPERA II phase III trials have reported...Read more

Aubagio ‘associated with reduced disability progression after relapse’ (21/04/16)
Aubagio is associated with reduced risk of disability progression among patients experiencing multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse, compared to placebo, according to a post-hoc analysis of clinical trial data presented at the 68th American Academy of Neurology meeting in Canada...Read more

DMF ‘significantly reduces disability progression’ (20/04/16)
Delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (DMF) has been associated with significant reductions in confirmed disability progression (CDP) in patients newly diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), compared with placebo, presented J. Theodore Phillips, MD, PhD, FAAN, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Dallas, TX, at the 68th American Academy of Neurology meeting in Vancouver, Canada...Read more

Stem cell-derived therapy ‘shows promise’ in progressive MS (20/04/16)
Intrathecal administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (MSC-NPs) was safe and well tolerated as a regenerative multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy, concluded a first-of-its-kind study presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN)...Read more

Daclizumab HYP improves cognition - report (20/04/16)
Patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with daclizumab high-yield process (HYP) had improved cognitive outcomes at 96 weeks compared with beta interferon, a study presented at the 68th American Academy of Neurology meeting has found...Read more

Aubagio ‘reduces brain volume loss’ (20/04/16)
Aubagio treatment decreased brain volume loss in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) independent of disability progression, a study presented at the 68th annual American Academy of Neurology meeting concluded...Read more

Interferon ‘does not increase antidepressant use in MS population’ (19/04/16)
No correlation between interferon treatment and antidepressant use has been observed in the multiple sclerosis (MS) population, a large-scale study presented at the 68th AAN Annual Meeting reported...Read More

Multiple sclerosis relapses ‘common’ during 20-year period (19/04/16)
Regardless of whether the disease is in the progressive phase or not, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) seem likely to experience relapses for the first time or relapse continuation between the ages of 27 and 47 years according to a new study...Read More

Data shows Cladribine benefits persist in RRMS patients (19/04/16)
The effects of Cladribine for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients have been demonstrated to last for up to four years after treatment has started, according to the findings of a study presented at the 68th American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting...Read More

Patients ‘tolerate arbaclofen extended-release tabs’ (19/04/16)
Arbaclofen extended-release tablets (AERT) have proved to have greater tolerability, and similar efficacy and safety, to baclofen in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to randomised trial results reported at the 68th American Academy of Neurology annual Meeting...Read More

Biogen says Tecfidera data confirms efficacy (19/04/16)
Biogen has unveiled new Tecfidera research that, it says, reinforces its efficacy in newly diagnosed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients and further supports its long-term, well-characterised safety profile. The data was presented at the 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Vancouver, Canada...Read More

Sex change ‘may increase MS risk' (18/04/16)
Researchers from the United Kingdom have identified that men with gender identity disorder (GID) who took sex hormones to undergo a male-to-female conversion had a nearly seven-fold higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS)...Read more

Interim report into Gilenya safety released (18/04/16)
Once-daily Gilenya therapy is effective after four years of real-world clinical use among patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), and has a safety profile that is “broadly consistent” with that identified in clinical trials, according to an interim analysis from the PANGAEA long-term safety, tolerability, and effectiveness non-interventional study, presented at the 68th annual American Academy of Neurology meeting...Read more

Pesticides linked to MS risk (18/04/16)
Results from new research suggest that maternal illness and pesticide-related environmental exposure contribute to risk of pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS), whereas cesarean-section delivery was associated with reduced risk...Read more

Lipoic acid may provide ‘inexpensive’ MS treatment (18/04/16)
Results from a "highly promising pilot study" presented at the 68th annual American Academy of Neurology meeting in Canada have shown Lipoic acid is safe, well tolerated, and offers neuroprotection in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS)....Read more

At-home remediation may help cognitive symptoms in multiple sclerosis (18/04/16)
A new study from NYU Langone Medical Center could provide hope for relief for some of the cognitive issues associated with multiple sclerosis....Read more

Oral propionate demonstrates beneficial effects for MS patients (18/04/16)
The beneficial effects of oral propionate, an approved food additive, have been demonstrated in humans for the first time, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver...Read more

Adolescent obesity ‘could be MS risk factor’ (15/04/16)
The findings of a systematic review suggests adolescent obesity could be a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. If future research supports this idea, it “would be of major significance,” according to experts at the University of British Columbia...Read more

Professor develops underwater virtual reality game to treat multiple sclerosis (15/04/16)
John Quarles, an associate professor of computer science at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has developed a new virtual reality method of aquatic physical therapy...Read more

Patients wary when doctors recruit for trials (14/04/16)
Patients with multiple sclerosis say they may be wary if their physician gets paid to recruit for clinical trials, a survey has found...Read more

Urinary tract symptoms ‘affect 70 per cent of MS patients’ (14/04/16)
Urinary tract symptoms affect a large proportion of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), yet their extent and type is not well-known. A study reported that among a cohort of people with the disease, almost 70 per cent had urinary tract problems, adding to the extent of their disability...Read more

MS vision damage could be reversed by antihistamine (13/04/16)
A common antihistamine used to treat symptoms of allergies and the common cold, called clemastine fumarate, partially reversed damage to the visual system in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a preliminary study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada...Read more

Imaging biomarker diagnoses PML in Tysabri patients (12/04/16)
A group of T2 weighted hyperintensities that disseminate in what is called a “punctate pattern” (PP) may directly precede the appearance of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) lesions, according to a new study published in Neurology...Read more

Doctors study possible link between Tecfidera and shingles (08/04/16)
A case report of a woman with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who developed shingles while being treated with Tecfidera has raised questions of whether the drug reactivates the varicella-zoster virus...Read more

Depression in Multiple Sclerosis: A Lasting Impact (07/04/16)
Secondary health issues are very common in multiple sclerosis (MS) and exerts a significant impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), results of two studies published in Neurology indicate...Read more

Thousands ‘wrongly barred’ from Personal Independence Payments (07/04/16)
Three in five people who contest a decision to reject their Personal Independence Payment win on appeal, figures have revealed....Read more

Gilenya shown to benefit neurons (07/04/16)
The immune system-suppressing multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Gilenya also has potentially beneficial effects on the nervous system, according to a recent study...Read more

Gut bacteria regulate insulation of nerve fibres in the brain (06/04/16)
Research suggests gut bacteria may directly affect brain structure and function, and could offer new ways to treat multiple sclerosis and psychiatric conditions...Read more

Data on MS ‘vaccine’ Xemys released (05/04/16)
PJSC Pharmsynthez, a pharmaceutical company based in Russia, has announced completed follow-up findings and data analysis from a Phase 2a proof-of-concept clinical trial of its therapeutic vaccine Xemys for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS)...Read more

Tecfidera ‘could be increasing B-cells’ (04/04/16)
Recent studies have shown that Tecfidera decreased certain immune cells, of both B-, and T-cell type in MS patients. Studies have also indicated that this class of drugs affects the signalling through IL-10, a key regulator of immune responses. This anti-inflammatory cytokine is most often released by regulatory B-, and T-cells (Bregs/Tregs)...Read more

Redhill announces Phase IIa trial data (01/04/16)
RedHill Biopharma has announced “encouraging” top-line interim results from its CEASE-MS Phase IIa proof-of-concept (PoC) clinical study evaluating fixed oral doses of RHB-104 in patients treated for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)....Read more

Molecule ‘induces remyelination’ (01/04/16)
A study claims the molecule neuregulin-1 is indispensable for repairing myelin in models of spinal cord injury, a finding with possibly long-reaching implications for multiple sclerosis treatment...Read more

Plant peptide could prevent onset of multiple sclerosis (29/03/16)
Together with his team and the research group led by Gernot Schabbauer, international partners from Australia, Germany and Sweden, Christian Gruber, Chief Researcher at the Center for Physiology and Pharmacology has demonstrated in an animal model that, following treatment with a specially synthesized plant peptide (cyclotide), there is no further progression of the usual clinical signs of multiple sclerosis. Gruber: "The one-off oral administration of the active agent brought about a great improvement in symptoms. There were no further attacks of the disease. This could slow down the course of the disease in general..." - Read more