14 - 20 May 2016

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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Neurological Alliance unhappy with government response to report

The Neurological Alliance is disappointed with the government's response to the Public Accounts Committee's report criticising neurology services in England, saying, "Once again, the Government has sent a message that the needs of people with neurological conditions are simply not important enough to focus on."

Source: Neurological Alliance

MS Trust link: Rising to the challenge: how the MS Trust plans to push neurology services up the agenda

Relapses and disease modifying drugs

Research into the effects of relapses found that relapses that happen whilst someone is receiving a disease modifying drug are an indicator of a faster build up in disability. People who remained stable whilst on disease modifying drug treatment had on average a one point lower EDSS score than would be expected in someone not on treatment

Source: News Medical

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

Progressive MS treatments review

A review of where things stand for treating progressive forms of MS.  Mentions ocrelizumab, trials of drugs developed for other conditions and the need for better outcome measures.

Source: Pharmaceutical Journal

MS Trust link: The new focus on progressive MS

Vitamin D levels in Orkney

A study of people in Orkney (involving almost one in ten of the population) found that vitamin D levels were generally higher than on the mainland - particularly among farmers and people aged 60 years who take regular foreign holidays.

Source: BBC
Source: Eureka Alert

MS Trust link: Vitamin D

Gut bacteria in children with MS

Canadian research shows that children with MS had different levels of gut bacteria associated with inflammation to children who don't have MS. 

Source: Medical News Today

MS Trust link: MS research updates

Viruses and onset of MS

A study has found that the level in the blood of immune cells targeting the brain and spinal cord correlates with the immune response to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).  Suggests some viral link to MS, though what this is is not yet clear

Source: MS News Today

MS Trust link: Epstein Barr virus

Pregabalin and birth defects

A study of women who took pregabalin during a pregnancy found they were more likely to experience major birth defects than women in a control group (6% v 2%).  None of the women in the study had MS, though pregabalin is used in MS to treat pain.  It is already advised that pregnant women should not take pregabalin

Source: Newswise

MS Trust link: Pregabalin

Inequalities in multiple sclerosis care

A survey by the MS Trust has highlighted inconsistencies in access to MS specialist health professionals around the country. 

Source: Clacton Gazette

MS Trust link: MS Trust report finds people with progressive MS feel like they're getting a second class service

Potential treatment for PML

A woman with MS who developed PML after taking Tysabri was treated with the IL-2 cytokine, which controlled the virus and reduced her symptoms.  This treatment could potentially increase MS progression.

Source: MS News Today

MS Trust link: Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)

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