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Curry Week is here!

Posted on: October 12 2017

Hi everyone,

Well, National Curry Week is well under way and you can celebrate by making my curry and hosting your own curry night in aid of MS-UK!

You can order a fundraising pack today on our website or give us a call on 01206 226500. I do hope you enjoy celebrating the nation’s favourite dish!

Best wishes,


Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager

5 ways to stave off colds this winter - number 2

Posted on: October 11 2017

3_2.pngNumber 2 in our list is vitamins...

Although there is no definitive evidence to say vitamin supplements help MS symptoms, their use is not contraindicated unless you take them in excess. Here’s a list of some immune boosting supplements and the evidence behind why we might take them during cold season.

Vitamin C
Many people reach for Vitamin C when they want to prevent a cold, but there is actually no evidence that it has this effect. However, there is some evidence that suggests it could help shorten the time you’re sick for.

In a study led by Dr H. Clay Gorton, D.C., and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 1999, found that vitamin C – in ‘mega doses’ – administered either before or after the start of cold or flu symptoms successfully relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group. These findings suggest that vitamin C is great for boosting your immune system.

There are a number of studies which show that taking zinc gluconate or acetate lozenges every two hours within the first two days of a cold can decrease the duration. However, taking zinc as a preventative measure doesn’t seem to be very effective as a preventative. Zinc lozenges shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach because they can cause nausea.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat raw garlic, garlic supplements work just as well for this one. A British study found that of 146 people who took a garlic supplement for 12 weeks during cold season were far less likely to get sick than those who received a placebo. Those who took garlic and did get a cold also recovered around four days quicker on average than those taking the placebo.

Vitamin E
This is another immune system booster, but unlike the others we have mentioned this supplement won’t shorten the time you are sick, it could actually prevent you from getting a cold. In a one-year study conducted by Tufts University, 451 adults aged 65 and older were given 200 IU of vitamin E or a placebo each day. While 74% of people in the placebo group came down with at least one upper respiratory infection during the study, only 65% of those taking vitamin E experienced one or more infections.

Check back on Friday for our blog about exercise!

5 ways to stave off colds this winter

Posted on: October 10 2017

1_2.pngAs the cold nights draw in and the scarves and hats come out of the cupboard, we'll be looking at ways to stave off colds this winter. Over the next few days we'll be looking at a different thing you can do...

1. Diet

We all know that eating a healthy diet will ensure our bodies get all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy, but when the weather changes most of us go searching for comfort food. Don’t deny yourself an indulgent treat, but try to eat foods that will fill you up so you won’t want to snack.

A recent study from the University of Warwick revealed chicken, mackerel, pork shoulder and beef sirloin steak as some of the most filling foods. They also found that plums, apricots, avocados, lentils and almonds have the same hunger-busting effect.

Check back tomorrow for our blog about vitamins!

Read our Choices leaflet about diet and nutrition and download it for free at

Guest blog: When will I ever learn?

Posted on: October 09 2017

jo-small.jpgIn her latest blog Jo ponders the delayed effects on multiple sclerosis (MS) after exertion and asks if she will ever learn...

So, I’ve written before about the delayed effects on MS after exertion, but the other thing is the effect of getting carried away and overdoing it on a ‘good day’. Those days when you feel a tiny bit better. A day to potter at home which you think is a rest.

Except it’s not a rest. It’s a constant to-do list. Everywhere you look is a reminder of something that needs doing. Washing waiting to go on, stuff to put away, bills to pay, tidying to do, pots to wash, emails to write. The list is literally endless.

So on a day when I’m feeling a bit better I think I’ll tackle some jobs (especially if the sun is shining…that seems to make me think I have superhuman abilities!) Usually tidying jobs where one leads to another. You know the type of thing, you’re putting something away and before you know it you’re rearranging a cupboard or clearing out a drawer or tackling a mini paper mountain that turns into an avalanche. And because I’m doing it at home I think it doesn’t use energy, but of course it does and the fatigue can still strike at any time. Usually when stuff is out everywhere and I don’t have the energy to finish and put it all away!

I seem to think that bending down to sort a cupboard won’t affect my legs, that time doing admin on the computer won’t strain my eyes and make me dizzy and that repeatedly reaching up to hang the washing on the line won’t affect my coordination. But it does.

Everytime! I forget and get caught up in the moment of feeling I have actually achieved something, until it’s too late and I almost can’t move from overwhelming fatigue or symptom flare up. I think this time will be different. This time the MS won’t notice. Shh…I’m just going to put the washing out, don’t tell the MS that I’ve already sorted out a kitchen cupboard and had a busy weekend…;)

It is so disappointing! I have a few moments or maybe even an hour where I feel pretty good. I get stuff done. Those things that have built up when I haven’t felt so good are being ticked off the list. A sense of accomplishment washes over me. Success! But it doesn’t last…all of a sudden a wave of fatigue hits me, symptoms flare and then it’s back to earth with a great big bump.

Therefore, note to self. Physical exertion is the same whether it is in the house, in the garden or at the gym. Will I ever learn? Probably not. Those moments of accomplishment are too enticing! But maybe I can try a little harder with pacing myself so the impact isn’t so bad. Unless the sun is shining, then all bets are off!


You can download our Choices leaflets on fatigue, and MS symptoms from the MS-UK website.

Guest blog: Lee's volunteering story

Posted on: October 05 2017

In this guest blog Lee talks about volunteering with MS-UK in the marketing department...


Hi I’m Lee and throughout the university summer break I’ve been volunteering behind the scenes, in the marketing department at MS-UK.

I spent a lot of time researching the organisation before deciding to get in touch, and as luck would have it a voluntary position was just about to be advertised, seeking a helping hand at making sense of social media data. As a chemistry student myself, I feel obliged to point out that chemists love number-crunching and spreadsheets – it’s like our third favourite thing to do after quoting Breaking Bad, and spelling our names out with chemical symbols. Needless to say I was keen to get involved and help as much as I possibly could.

What’s really struck me at my time here is the atmosphere – everybody is exceptionally warm and enthusiastic, making me feel like a welcome member of the team. I was even invited along to our team day at a working farm; quickly becoming the envy of my friends as my Snapchat story filled up with videos of pigs and pygmy goats.

I’ve done a ton of research and learned a lot while working on this project, but have also had plenty of opportunity to be creative too. I got involved in the filming and editing of our recent Choices leaflets video, which was a lot of fun as I tried my best to accentuate Ryan’s excellent performance on-screen. Several years from now, when an Academy Award inevitably finds its way through my letterbox, I’ll know exactly who to credit for kick-starting my Hollywood career.

It’s been a fantastic experience volunteering for MS-UK, I am very grateful for the trust and responsibilities I have been given, and I would urge anyone else considering it to get involved too!

Find out more about volunteering on the MS-UK website.

CBW chooses MS-UK as charity of the year!

Posted on: October 04 2017

Tijmen meets Myles!

Hi everyone,


Last week I went along to meet the team from CBW with Jenny, our Events Fundraiser.

In September, Tijmen Wigchert from CBW starred as our Fundraiser of the Month (read his blog here). He is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2018, and he put MS-UK forward to his employer to as Charity of the Year.

Established in 1957, CBW is an award winning accountancy firm based in London, in the city. Last week 40 members of the CBW team from across all departments of the business gave up their lunch hour to enjoy a pizza with us and learn all about the work we do supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis.

It was great to hear about their fundraising ideas to support us…a team of Directors will be taking on the Three Peaks Challenge and the whole company is thinking of creating a cookbook of recipes from around the world to reflect the diversity of their team and raise money for MS-UK!

I would like to say a big thank you to CBW for choosing MS-UK as their Charity of the Year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Best wishes,


Fundraising Manager


Want to get your company involved?

If you would like to make MS-UK your Charity of the Year, please do get in touch! You can call me on 01206 226500 or email me at To find out more about the business benefits, take a look at our website.

Did you miss out on the Virgin Money London Marathon ballot?

Posted on: October 03 2017

Hi everyone,

Well, it’s that time of year again when runners across the country (indeed, the world!) await that thump on the doormat for the Virgin Money London Marathon magazine to find out if they have got a ballot place or not.

More than 300,000 people have entered the ballot, and it is a completely random draw, so don’t feel too disheartened if you didn’t get a place!

If you missed out, we still have Gold Bond places available, so apply on our website today!

To give you an idea of what it is like running for #TeamPurple, check out our short film and meet some of our inspiring marathon runners who all took on the capital in April 2017 in aid of MS-UK!

If you were successful in the ballot, congratulations! You can still join #TeamPurple and run for MS-UK as an own place runner – just email me or give me a call on 01206 226500 to find out more.

Best wishes,


Jenny Poulter, Events Fundraiser

MS in the news

Posted on: October 02 2017

sarah-jane-300.jpgNot everyone has time to visit the news section on the MS-UK website every day (its ok, we forgive you), so here’s a summary of some of the latest developments in MS. 

I’ve got a gut feeling

Recently there has been a lot of news regarding gut bacteria, with some interesting studies highlighting how changes to gut bacteria could lead to a possible future treatments for MS.

Reading these stories, I found myself researching the different gut bacteria thinking maybe I should change my diet accordingly, but I quickly realised it’s not that simple.

More research is needed to get to treatment stages, but the signs are encouraging.

Click the stories below to read more about the latest developments.

And with tummies in mind, the latest issue of New Pathways magazine features a four-page feature about the Overcoming MS Recovery Program, one of a few popular diet choices for people with MS. Find out more by subscribing and why not try out the free recipe too? 

News for progressive MS

Scientists at Yale University have uncovered two closely related cytokines that may explain why some people develop progressive MS and could lead the way in developing a novel treatment to prevent progressive forms of the condition. Click here to read the news story.

Let’s talk genes

MS is not hereditary, but it is genetic and researchers at the University of Florida Health got everyone talking recently, when they revealed they had found a way to inhibit or reverse MS using a novel gene therapy technique that stops the condition’s immune response in mice.

Of the mice that received gene therapy, 80% went into near-complete remission after having hind-limb paralysis. This is a promising outcome, but more studies are needed.


Bexarotene, a drug that could help the brain regrow myelin in people with MS, has started its phase II clinical trial.

The trial is only open to people with relapsing MS who are currently on a disease modifying therapy (DMT). It will involve 50 people and the first person involved started their treatment in March.

Recruitment is taking place in Cambridge and Edinburgh, but not everyone will be eligible because of other important criteria.

The trial will run for four years to study the long-term benefits for people with MS.

For more information about the criteria for the trial click here. To access the trial you will need to be referred by your GP or neurologist

For more daily MS news, visit the MS-UK website.


New Pathways Editor