Vitamin D link to MS…

The first two paragraphs are from Medical News Today (found under ‘links’) and the last one is from the UK’s Telegraph (link provided here).

Interesting connection…my diagnose came after I moved from ‘sunny’ – tropical climate to Scandinavia…hm… wonder if my mother was not consuming ‘enough’ D vitamins during pregnancy..? :p

Vitamin D And Gene Variant Affect MS Risk

Researchers in the UK and Canada have discovered that vitamin D and a particular gene variant interact to increase the risk of developing MS, and suggested that vitamin D deficiency during fetal growth and early childhood may increase the risk of developing MS in later life.

Genetic Study Shows Direct Link Between Vitamin D And MS Susceptibility ‘Gene’

Scientists have found evidence that a direct interaction between vitamin D and a common genetic variant alters the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). The causes of MS are unclear, but it has become evident that both environmental and genetic factors play a role. Previous studies have shown that populations from Northern Europe have an increased MS risk if they live in areas receiving less sunshine. This supports a direct link between deficiency in vitamin D, which is produced in the body through the action of sunlight, and increased risk of developing the condition.

Vitamin D for pregnant women could cut MS rates

Giving all pregnant women vitamin D supplements could cut the number of MS sufferers by up to 80 %, new research suggests. Scientists have proved a long suspected link between Vitamin D and MS, a finding that could prevent tens of thousands of people developing the condition in future generations

They suspected that vitamin D, which is produced by the body when it comes into contact with sunlight, could play a key role. In laboratory experiments they discovered that vitamin D has a direct impact on a sequence of DNA known to be key to the disease. In particular it played a vital role in making the genes develop and perform properly. “If too little of the vitamin is available, the genes may not function properly”

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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New drug – better walking ability for MS patients!

Improvement Of Walking Ability In People With Multiple Sclerosis – Acorda Therapeutics Submits New Drug Application For Fampridine-SR (February 03.2009 – Medical News Today)

A new drug has been developed to improve the walking abilities in people with MS!! We all know that walking impairment is one of the most pervasive and alarming aspects of MS for us patients, our families and health care providers. So far, there were no medicines that would improve walking ability in people with MS. Thus, Fampridine-SR may represent an important new approach to treating and helping people with MS!

About Fampridine-SR

Fampridine-SR is a sustained-release tablet formulation of the investigational drug fampridine (4-aminopyridine or 4-AP). In laboratory studies, fampridine has been found to improve impulse conduction in nerve fibers in which the insulating layer, called myelin, has been damaged. As of June 2008, the Company completed two successful Phase 3 clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Fampridine-SR in improving walking ability in people with MS.

Stem cells ‘reverse’ MS !?!?

Yet again..an encouraging news!! (I know..it came out January 30th but I just found the time to put it on now..so forgive me for the delay:)

“Stem cell transplants could provide a cure for multiple sclerosis”, The Sun reported. It said that in a recent trial of 21 patients with MS, 17 had shown improvement three years after being injected with cells from their own bone marrow. The newspaper said the stem cells appear to reduce the inflammation that can worsen the disease. The study leader was quoted as saying: “It seems to prevent neurological progression and reverse disability.”

The news story is based on an early phase trial, which found that stem cell transplants reversed neurological deficits in people with relapsing-remitting MS, the most common form of the disease. It did not look at other forms of the condition, such as secondary progressive MS. Patients were compared before and after the transplant, and the results were promising, with sustained improvements in disability in 81% of patients.

As is usual when testing treatments, the intervention will go on to be tested in larger, controlled trials, probably randomised controlled trials across different centres. Until then, the researchers emphasize that it’s not possible to determine whether this treatment is better than existing treatments for relapsing-remitting MS.

Further details on this story can be found here: nhs.uk

Stem Cell Transplant Trial Results – Comment By The Multiple Sclerosis Society in brief:

Dr Doug Brown, Research Manager at the MS Society, said: “These are very encouraging results and it’s exciting to see that in this trial not only is progression of disability halted, but damage appears to be reversed. “Stem cells are showing more and more potential in the treatment of MS and the challenge we now face is proving their effectiveness in trials involving large numbers of people.”

The whole article can be found under the medical news today link.. or just click here:)