9 - 15 December 2017
These are links to news stories from the last week that may be of interest to people in the UK. The link beneath each item will take you to the original story.
Please note that the MS Trust did not write the original items and does not endorse their content nor any claims made in them.
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Gilenya and Betaferon compared
Both Gilenya (fingolimod) and Betaferon (beta interferon 1b) improved measures of cognition after 18 months, according to recently published research. As shown in previous studies, Gilenya had a better effect on reducing the number of relapses and new lesions seen on MRI scans.
Source: MS News Today
MS Trust link: MS Decisions - a guide to treatments for relapsing MS
Pain prevalence and treatment
Just over half of the people attending an Italian MS clinic had pain symptoms lasting longer than three months, according to a new study. Neuropathic or nerve pain was the most frequent type affecting nearly of those with pain symptoms. Only a quarter of people with chronic pain and a third of those with neuropathic pain were on a long-term treatment for pain
Source: MS News Today
MS Trust link: Pain
Cold water in the mouth helps heat sensitivity
A small Australian study involving ten people with MS found that having cold water rather than warm helped more people to complete a cycling exercise. As the cold water had no effect on heart rate or core or skin temperature, the researchers suggest that temperature sensors in the mouth may have a role in perceptions of fatigue.
MS Trust link: Heat sensitivity
Benefit reassessment concerns
Half of all people reassessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in the last year either had their benefit reduced or stopped according to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Around two thirds of appeals against benefit changes were successful in the last quarter. The DWP point out that more people are getting the higher rate of PIP than previously and read the figures as showing that only 4% of all PIP assessments are overturned on appeal.
Source: The Independent
MS Trust link: Benefits
Review of the year - MS in America
The American National MS Society looks back on what has happened in the last year. Topics include a range of research projects both ongoing and completed - including Gilenya (fingolimod) in children with MS, ibudilast, stem cell therapy and statins. Also mentions the approval in the USA of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) for relapsing and primary progressive MS.
Source: National MS Society (USA)
MS Trust link: MS research updates