As a member of the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, we know you're interested in the latest developments taking place in MS research. To keep you abreast of information and news in this ever-changing field, you are receiving this quarterly research newsletter. It will inform you of both local and national news, local clinical trials and updates on research projects.
We hope you find this newsletter useful. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at
1-800-FIGHT-MS or visit our website.
Executive Vice President of Programs & Services
Greater Carolinas Chapter
Great Gatsby Gala
August 4, 2012
Bike MS: Historic New Bern Ride
September 8-9, 2012
Bike MS: Breakaway to the Beach
September 22-23, 2012
- Nearly 12,000 neurologists and investigators convened in New Orleans in April to present findings at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting. Over 500 scientific presentations and display posters focused on research. To learn more about the highlights of this meeting, please click here.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have revised prescribing information for the oral MS therapy Gilenya® (fingolimod, Novartis). To learn more click here.
- The U.S. FDA released a safety communication to inform people with MS, doctors and others about potential risks associated with procedures and devices used to treat CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency). The communication from the FDA outlines these risks and encourages more research to provide better understanding of the relationship between CCSVI and MS and to guide possible treatment decisions by people with MS nd their health care providers. For more info click here.
- People with multiple sclerosis often report worse symptoms when the weather is hot. A recent study concludes that hot weather may also worsen the ability to perform mental tasks in some people with MS. The research, which needs further exploration, may help people plan activities and may improve the design of future clinical trials. For more information, click here.
- A small clinical trial by California investigators found some benefit of smoked marijuana against spasticity (muscle tightness and spasms) and pain in people with MS. Participants also experienced significantly reduced thinking ability after smoking marijuana, highlighting the need for research on cannabis products or other treatments that can more selectively reduce painful symptoms without producing adverse effects on cognitive function. For more details, click here.
- Genzyme announced that the company had submitted a New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval to market alemtuzumab. Click here for more info.
- Find out more about the clinical trial with oral teriflunomide involving 1,169 people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by clicking here.
RESEARCH NOW PUBLICATION
Research Now (formerly Research Highlights Newsletter) offers eight information-packed pages about what researchers are doing now to improve care and treatment, and to find ways to prevent and cure MS. The Society has just released the Summer 2012 issue of NOW, which features recent research on finding ways to stop MS in its tracks, restore function that has been lost, and end MS forever.To view the Summer 2012 Research Now, please click here to view the PDF.
RESEARCH NIGHT 2012: DR. HAYES ON VITAMIN D AND MS
On June 7 in Raleigh, NC the Greater Carolinas Chapter hosted the annual research night, "Solving the Multiple Sclerosis Problem: A Role for Vitamin D." The guest speaker was Dr. Colleen Hayes, PhD, professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Hayes presented on how vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin," provides protection against MS relapses and disease progression, and may also have an important role in preventing MS in individuals who are at risk of developing this disease. She reviewed scientific foundations for the vitamin D multiple sclerosis hypothesis, presented an update on new research in MS patients, and briefly described her lab's research on how the vitamin D hormone acts to eliminate autoimmune T lymphocytes. Lastly, she mentioned the benefits of vitamin D beyond multiple sclerosis, and provided guidance for patients and physicians interested in using supplementary vitamin D.
Read more about Dr. Hayes research on Vitamin D
Watch a video of Q&A with Dr. Hayes
RECENT FINDING: WHY INTERFERON THERAPY MIGHT NOT WORK
Some MS patients going through Interferon-beta therapy see no improvement. Additionally, this therapy often makes people very sick. Mari Shinohara, Ph.D., assistant professor of immunology at Duke University Medical Center, identified the mechanism which describes why this therapy is only effective in reducing some types of inflamation. Dr. Shinohara recently published an article Science Signaling and talks about the findings in this podcast.