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MS research update - Looking after yourself - it's not just about MS - 18 July 2012

Many people with MS actively take steps to manage their MS and to live as well as possible. However, they are still susceptible to other medical conditions which may make their MS worse or limit their activities and enjoyment of life in other ways. The chances of experiencing many of these conditions can be decreased by taking part in health screening programmes or by changes in behaviour, for example, by not smoking cigarettes.

Two research papers published this week looked at issues related to this. The first looked at whether men with MS in the USA were more or less likely to take part in health screening programmes. The men were all veterans of the US armed forces and were compared with veterans who did not have MS and with the general population.

They found that male veterans with MS were more likely than either of the other two groups to:

  • Have a check for high levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • Undergo screening for colon cancer
  • Be vaccinated against 'flu' every year
  • Receive vaccination against pneumonia in their lifetime

However, they were less likely to undergo tests for prostate cancer. Overall, this research suggests that men with MS are more motivated to look after their health by taking part in health screening programmes than men from other sections of the population.

A second research paper looked at health conditions and also behaviours that affect health where people could exert some control themselves. These conditions and behaviours included high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, alcohol and smoking.

They concluded that it was important to identify and treat these so that health and quality of life were improved and disability minimised.

Overs S, Hughes CM, Haselkorn JK, et al.
Modifiable comorbidities and disability in multiple sclerosis.
Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Lavela SL, Prohaska TR, Furner S, et al.
Preventive healthcare use among males with multiple sclerosis.
Public Health. 2012 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]


Research by topic areas...

Symptoms and symptom management

Truini A, Galeotti F, La Cesa S, et al.
Mechanisms of pain in multiple sclerosis: A combined clinical and neurophysiological study.
Pain. 2012 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Disease modifying treatments

Derfuss T, Kappos L.
Evaluating the potential benefit of interferon treatment in multiple sclerosis.
JAMA. 2012 Jul 18;308(3):290-1.

Shirani A, Zhao Y, Karim ME, et al.
Association between use of interferon beta and progression of disability in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
JAMA. 2012 Jul 18;308(3):247-56.

Other treatments

Zajicek JP, Hobart JC, Slade A, et al.
MUltiple Sclerosis and Extract of Cannabis: results of the MUSEC trial.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2012 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Notcutt WG.
A questionnaire survey of patients and carers of patients prescribed Sativex as an unlicensed medicine.
Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2012 Jul 12:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Hersh C, Rae-Grant A.
Extended-release dalfampridine in the management of multiple-sclerosis-related walking impairment.
Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2012 Jul;5(4):199-204.


Ajdacic-Gross V, Tschopp A, Schmid M, et al.
Missed epidemics and missing links: international birth cohort trends in multiple sclerosis.
Eur J Neurol. 2012 Jul 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2012.03802.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Causes of MS

Buchter B, Dunkel M, Li J.
Multiple sclerosis: a disease of affluence?
Neuroepidemiology. 2012 Jul 5;39(1):51-56. [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin D

Pierrot-Deseilligny C, Rivaud-Péchoux S, Clerson P, et al.
Relationship between 25-OH-D serum level and relapse rate in multiple sclerosis patients before and after vitamin D supplementation.
Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2012 Jul;5(4):187-98.

[No authors listed]
Multiple sclerosis: Interaction between IFN-β and vitamin D in modulation of MS risk.
Nat Rev Neurol. 2012 Jul 10. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2012.139. [Epub ahead of print]

Paediatric MS

[No authors listed]
Multiple sclerosis: A distinct disease course for paediatric multiple sclerosis.
Nat Rev Neurol. 2012 Jul 10. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2012.140. [Epub ahead of print]

Psychological aspects

van der Hiele K, Spliethoff-Kamminga NG, Ruimschotel RP, et al.
Daily hassles reported by Dutch multiple sclerosis patients.
J Neurol Sci. 2012 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Mohr DC, Lovera J, Brown T, et al.
A randomized trial of stress management for the prevention of new brain lesions in MS.
Neurology. 2012 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Heesen C, Gold SM.
Don't stress about it!: is stress management a disease-modifying therapy for multiple sclerosis?
Neurology. 2012 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Physical activity

Hansen D, Wens I, Kosten L, et al.
Slowed exercise-onset Vo2 kinetics during submaximal endurance exercise in subjects with multiple sclerosis.
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]


Manouchehrinia A, Constantinescu CS.
Cost-effectiveness of disease-modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis.
Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]


Ahlgren C, Odén A, Bergström T, et al.
Serum and CSF measles antibody levels increase over time in patients with multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome.
J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Jun 15;247(1-2):70-4.


Correale J, Ysrraelit MC, Fiol MP.
Benign Multiple Sclerosis: Does it exist?
Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

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