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Wednesday, May 20, 2015


In the words of the ex-wife.........I need to "stop using MS as a crutch"..............So I just thought I would pass that info. along to everyone else with the chronic, incurable disease as well!!!!!

'For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.'

Stay Strong MSer

MSers Around the World Stay Strong:

World MS Day Events Against the Odds

Al Hayah MS SocietyIraq_newsformat2
WORLD MS DAY - is a day to take action, to celebrate and raise awareness, but it’s also a day of solidarity for people living with MS around the world.

MS knows no international borders, and sometimes the lives of people affected by MS are made even harder by disasters and conflict in their country. Despite these difficult situations, a number of MS organisations in countries experiencing war, political unrest and disasters are still planning World MS Day events. This gives us an added motivation, to reach out to others affected by MS and say “you are not alone.”

The Al Hayah MS Society held a World MS Day event for people with MS on May 16, despite the military confrontations against terrorism and difficult security situation in Iraq at the moment. 

Taghreed Mahdi, President of Al Hayah MS Society in Iraq told us:
“This situation makes movement and communication difficult for the society. The patients’ insistence and persistence in continuing the preparations reminded us that these challenges are just another part of their fight against MS. This has given us the motivation to keeping working and never stop.”

A photo from Aden sent by Jeiab
Life is difficult and uncertain for everyone in Yemen as a multifaceted conflict envelopes the country. For people with MS in Yemen life is harder than ever. The Multiple Sclerosis Patients Society of Yemen-Aden had planned a program of events for World MS Day 2015, but were forced to cancel them. 
Earlier this week Jeiab from the society explained why:
“The war has paralyzed movement in Aden and more than half a million people have been displaced. For the last month and a half the people of Aden Gorge have been living in an ongoing war. The siege has cut off electricity, water, internet & telecommunication service so we cannot use social networking to communicate.

We apologize that we have to cancel the celebration of MS patients for this year due to circumstances beyond our control, but we are living in a war. We hope that you accept our apologies and we wish the associations around the world lasting success.”

2014 was the first time World MS Day has been celebrated in Libya. This year, the Attfaal Association of Libya is organizing an event in Benghazi in collaboration with a Benghazi medical center. 

They are doing this despite the day to day challenges in Libya, which include:
  • Political conflict and legitimacy confusion (two parliaments and two  governments), which makes it hard to conduct official procedures
  • Daily blackouts for up to 12 hours
  • Serious terrorist threats – secure venues are unaffordable without any event sponsor
  • Most of the medical companies involved with the MS Community have already fled the country and have withdrawn their support for the event, which puts more pressure on financial capacity
Despite ongoing conflict, life goes on for the people of Syria. The Syrian MS Society had planned a World MS Day event for people with MS, but due to the war this was not possible. There is still good news coming from Syria, as we see in this letter from the president of the MS Society, Abir Loutfi:

“Dear friends, MS patients in the Arab countries, and in particular in Syria.

I send you my warm regards and wishes to be cured from MS very soon. Brothers and sisters in Syria: 

We would like to inform you that we are running a program of activities.

To all patients in Syria, we never forget you.  Despite the catastrophic war and terrorism that has affected our country we have been able to deliver treatments to the national hospitals in Allepo, so that treatment is available for patients in the Northern and Northern-East regions. This was very challenging and it was delayed, but now treatments have been made available to you. We thank you for your understanding and patience.”

Haiti is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that struck five years ago. Yet hope shines for people with MS in Haiti. This World MS Day ‘Association Haitienne de Sclerose En Plaque’ is holding an event to raise awareness of MS in the country.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

MS Gets On My Nerves:

***Click on images to enlarge

***Click on images to enlarge

MS and Pets:

Pets With Benefits: Your Constant Companion and Multiple Sclerosis
By: Dennis Thompson Jr.
Reviewed by Pat F. Bass, III, MD, MPH

When you're wrestling with life after an MS diagnosis, dogs can provide you with far more than companionship, as one woman learned.

Alex O'Connor finds her pooch not only comforting and supportive, but also helpful for managing MS symptoms.

Pets can be very helpful for someone with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, vice president of clinical care for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "Pets provide an incredible amount of companionship and emotional support. They give people a reason to get up every morning and be active," Dr. Kalb says.

Benefits Beyond Companionship
O'Connor's two dogs are Polly, an 11-year-old Dalmatian, and Grady, a two-and-a-half-year-old foxhound, and she also owns a couple of cats -- all critters that serve a variety of roles in her life.

"Polly lives in the moment, so she teaches me it's important to live in the moment and be happy in the moment," O'Connor says. "My pets also give me something to look forward to. I get up in the morning, and I look forward to seeing them."

O'Connor has trained Polly and Grady to work as service animals for her. "Polly is my eyesight," she says. "I have double vision, and she helps keep me from running into things. Grady is trained to pull me out of chairs and get my cell phone and do things like that."

She finds that having a dog with her also helps her interactions with humans, too. "I take her to the hospital with me all the time," says O'Connor, who's also battling stage 4 ovarian Cancer and is on chemo. "It's interesting because the doctors are much more compassionate to me when I have the dog, and other patients enjoy seeing the dog."

Pet a Puppy (or a Kitten) and Feel Better Fast
Her dogs also are great motivators for her to get up and move. "It's also good for me because they need exercise, and so they get me up and out even when I might not want to go," O'Connor says. "I drag my foot, and I have a little bit of trouble walking, so both of them help me with that.

Pets Help Boost Mental Health
O'Connor's experiences with her pets are common among patients with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, especially those struggling with feelings of sadness, loneliness, loss, or depression, Kalb says.

"MS is tied to loss -- loss of function, loss of self-esteem," Kalb says. "There's a grieving process that accompanies those changes, and when we are undergoing grieving of loss, having the companionship of a pet that gives unconditional love can be invaluable. It's a consistent presence in the face of a disease that is pretty unpredictable."

Interactions with pets are known to reduce loneliness, anxiety, and depression in all people, not just those with MS. Pets can also boost your morale and spark a renewed interest in having social interactions with others.

"I think pets are great for people with MS," O'Connor says. "I know people who are homebound or in wheelchairs -- the dogs and cats mean so much to them, too. The quality of life is so much better for them. I've known patients who were despondent until they got a pet, and it helped with their depression."

Key Takeaways
• Pets motivate people with MS to get up every morning and be active.

• Pets can boost morale and spark renewed interest in having social interactions with others.

• Pets can be trained as service animals to help make life with MS more manageable.

Alex O'Connor sometimes can't sleep from the pain caused by her Multiple Sclerosis. O'Connor hates to wake her husband, but she knows she's not alone if pain disturbs her slumber.

"When I'm in pain in the middle of the night, and my spouse is asleep, my dogs are up with me," says O'Connor, 50, of Durham, N.C. "They're a great comfort to me."

"Pets provide an incredible amount of companionship and emotional support" for people with MS.

Is Multiple Sclerosis A Mitochondrial Disease?

The factors that may contribute to the development and progression of Multiple Sclerosis. The precise causal factors of Multiple Sclerosis are unknown. However, it is possible that multiple factors are involved in causing Multiple Sclerosis, including DNA defects in nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, viral infection, hypoxia and oxidative stress, lack of sunlight or sufficient levels of vitamin D, and increased macrophages and lymphocytes in the brain.

Mitochondrial abnormalities in people with Multiple Sclerosis and EAE mouse models. Based on current research, we propose that mitochondrial abnormalities are involved in the development and progression of Multiple Sclerosis, including mitochondrial DNA defects, abnormal mitochondrial gene expression, defective mitochondrial enzyme activities, abnormal or deficient mitochondrial DNA repair mechanisms, and mitochondrial dysfunction. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics (imbalance in mitochondrial fission and fusion) plays a key role in tissues affected by Multiple Sclerosis. We also propose that mitochondrial abnormalities and mitochondrial energy failure may impact other cellular pathways including increased demyelination and inflammation in neurons and tissues that are affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

To read this info. in its entirety please visit the following link:

1. Introduction
2. Etiology and pathology of MS
3. Experimental autoimmune encephalitis model of MS
4. Multiple Sclerosis/experimental autoimmune encephalitis is a neurodegenerative disorder
5. Mitochondria dysfunction and ROS as causes of neuronal degeneration in MS
6. Development of therapeutic approaches in MS
7. Conclusions and future directions

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Autoimmune Disorders ~ Mercury In Seafood:

A new study entitled “Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States” suggests mercury exposure by seafood may increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases in women. The study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system attacks and damages its own healthy tissues. Females are at a significantly higher risk to suffer from autoimmune disorders when compared to men, as nine females are affected for every one male. Autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis are one of the 10 leading causes of death in women.

Autoimmunity is characterized by the lack of tolerance towards the body’s self-antigens. However, it can exist without clinical symptoms as well, accounting for a pre-clinical immune dysregulation. One of the factors associated with immune dysregulation is exposure to mercury, with mice studies supporting immunotoxic effects caused by mercury exposure (organic and inorganic forms).

A research team from the University of Michigan determined the association between mercury exposure and the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA), i.e., antibodies that are produced by the immune system when immune dysregulation occurs. Mercury biomarkers included hair mercury, (indicates predominantly organic [methyl] mercury); total blood mercury (biomarker for both organic and inorganic mercury); and urinary mercury, a marker for inorganic/elemental mercury.

Researchers analyzed a total of 1,352 women aged between 16 to 49 years old from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey performed from 1999 to 2004. They found that a greater exposure to mercury was associated with higher levels of autoantibodies in females during reproductive ages, with organic (methyl) mercury accounting for the most predominant factor. Importantly, seafood is one of the richest sources for this type of mercury.

The authors highlight that while fish consumption is recommended for pregnant women, they should pay particular attention to the type of fish they consume, as noted by Emily Somers, Ph.D., Sc.M, study leading author, in a press release“In our study, exposure to mercury stood out as the main risk factor for autoimmunity. The presence of autoantibodies doesn’t necessarily mean they will lead to an autoimmune disease. However, we know that autoantibodies are significant predictors of future autoimmune disease, and may predate the symptoms and diagnosis of an autoimmune disease by years. For women of childbearing age, who are at particular risk of developing this type of disease, it may be especially important to keep track of seafood consumption.”

Ladies, given that you are at risk of developing MS 3:1 over men,
visit the following website for additional info. about a MS Diet 

COFFEE.......An MS Preventive!?!?

People who drink four to six cups of coffee daily may be less likely to get Multiple Sclerosis, according to international research out Thursday.
"Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases," said lead author Ellen Mowry of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
"Our study shows that coffee intake may also protect against MS, supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain," she added.
The findings of a US and Swedish study -- released ahead of the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Washington -- each compared more than 1,000 people with MS to a similar number of healthy people.
Researchers tracked how much coffee the subjects drank in the one, five and 10 years before symptoms began for those afflicted with MS.
People who drink 4-6 cups of coffee daily 
may be less likely to get Multiple Sclerosis
After accounting for other factors such as age, sex, smoking, body mass index and sun exposure, the Swedish study found that "compared to people who drank at least six cups of coffee per day during the year before symptoms appeared, those who did not drink coffee had about 1.5 times the increased risk of developing MS."
Similar protective effects were seen among those who drank lots of coffee five to 10 years before symptoms appeared.
The US study found that "people who didn't drink coffee were also about one and a half times more likely to develop the disease than those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day in the year before symptoms started to develop."
More research is needed to determine if caffeine in coffee has any impact on relapse or long-term disability due to MS, an incurable disease of the Central Nervous System that affects well over 2.3 Million people worldwide.
The study was funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council, the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institute on Aging.