11-17 March 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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Early treatment with disease modifying drugs

A trial of Rebif in people with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) found that the proportion of people who had been diagnosed with definite MS was lower in the taking the drug from the start of the study than in the group that had originally been on a placebo for the first two years.

Source: Neurology Reviews

MS Trust link: MS Decisions - a guide to the disease modifying drugs

Contraceptives and relapses

A study that found that women taking oral contraceptives didn't have a higher risk of relapses.

Source: MSIF

MS Trust link: Contraception

Neurological services declining

A Neurological Alliance survey has found a decline in neurological services since a previous study in 2014.  There were increases in the proportion of people seeking a diagnosis who saw their GP five or more times before seeing a neurologist; decrease in the proportion who felt involved in making choices; and a drop in people who feel that health professionals work well together

Source: Neurological Alliance

MS Trust link: People with neurological conditions ‘being failed’ by services - MS Trust news item

Access to neurologists

A report by the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) found wide discrepancies in access to neurologists and specialist services such as MRI scans between neuroscience centres and district general hospitals

Source: ABN

MS Trust link: Map of MS services

Myelin repair research

Researchers have identified a protein that encourages the production of more myelin making cells (oligodendrocytes), which speed up remyelination. The research has only been In mice so far.

Source: BBC
Source: Science Daily

MS Trust link: Nerve damage caused by MS

Caroline Wyatt and stem cell therapy

Jeremy Vine's show on Radio 2 included an interview with the BBC reporter Caroline Wyatt, who recently had stem cell therapy for her MS. She describes her diagnosis, her treatment the recovery process. Also on the BBC, the World Service has broadcast an investigation into clinics that charge people with long-term conditions for experimental stem cell approaches

Source: BBC (Vine - starts at 1.10.04)
Source: BBC (World Service)

MS Trust link: Stem cell therapy

Daclizumab (Zinbryta) approved in England and Wales

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 705 has approved a new disease modifying drug for relapsing remitting MS in England and Wales.

Source: Pharma Times

MS Trust link: Zinbryta (daclizumab) approved for use by the NHS in England and Wales - MS Trust news item

Delayed acceptance of NICE approved drugs

From April, NHS England will be able to ask the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to delay approval of new drugs if the cost is expected to be more than £20m in any of the first three years of implementation.

Source: Guardian
Source: NICE

Prescription charge rises

Prescription charges in England will go up by 20p to £8.60 from the start of April. Scotland, Wales and N Ireland don't charge for prescriptions

Source: BBC

MS Trust link: Prescription charges