Stay Positive

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Alert Camus

Friday, February 28, 2014

Managing Pain and Sleep Issues in MS:

Published on Sep 17, 2012

Managing Pain and Sleep Issues in MS: Part 1- Pain in Multiple Sclerosis

Pain and sleep disorders often cause confusion and frustration for people with MS, their loved ones, and healthcare providers. Learn from scientists and clinicians about strategies for symptom management, available treatment options, and ongoing research to identify the cause of pain and sleep disorders in MS.


Repair, Protect and Restore the Nervous System

Webcast: Promising MS Research to Repair, Protect and Restore the Nervous System

Published on Jan 27, 2014
MS is complex and that necessitates a holistic approach to speed research and to create a comprehensive strategy for better knowledge, treatments, healthcare policies and new disease management therapies.


The Impact of Diet

Published on Nov 6, 2013

Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Diseases: The Impact of Diet - John McDougall, MD

Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Diseases: The Impact of Diet presented by John McDougall, MD at Northwest VEG's Enhancing Health with Plant-Based Nutrition medical conference on September 20, 2013.

John McDougall, MD is a physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine. He has been studying, writing and "speaking out" about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years. Dr. McDougall believes that people should look great, feel great and enjoy optimal health for a lifetime. He is the author of four best-sellers on reversing chronic disease through diet without drugs.

Invisible Symptoms of M.S.

Part One

uploaded on Sep 9, 2010
MS Learn Online is the National MS Society's online educational webcast series. This video features part one of a two-part discussion with Rosalind Kalb, PhD, who talks about invisible symptoms in multiple sclerosis.

A Closer Look at Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

A Closer Look at Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Part 1 

Published on Apr 23, 2013
This program contains four segments. They are: Effective MS Symptom Management; Understanding Depression and MS; Learning About Involuntary Emotional Expression Disorder; and Managing Spasticity. Among the top MS experts featured in this video include MSAA's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jack Burks as well as MSAA's Healthcare Advisory Council member Dr. Donald Barone.

Opening-- 00:00
Effective MS Symptom Management -- 01:15
Understanding Depression and MS -- 25:19
Learning About Involuntary Emotional Expression Disorder -- 43:57
Managing Spasticity -- 53:39











Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Montel Williams on Multiple Sclerosis

published on May 21, 2012

Visit for full episodes, photos, and more!

In this Bonus Feature, we are joined by Emmy award winning TV host, Montel Williams, who has been living with MS since 1999. Montel shares some of the challenges he has had to overcome to lead a healthy and prosperous life living with MS. He gives tips on exercise, eating right and his personal juicing recipe!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Regenerative Neurology.

 Photo: James Duncan Davidson

 Regenerating hope: TEDGlobal 2013 with Siddharthan Chandran

Professor Siddharthan Chandran works in the emerging discipline of Regenerative Neurology. 

His research combines laboratory and clinical activity that includes human stem cells and specialist clinics (multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease) to both study disease as well as undertake early-phase clinical trials.

The ultimate aim of our research is to develop novel regenerative therapies for neurodegenerative disease through linked clinical research and laboratory studies that include human stem cells.

 The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) was established in 2004.

TED Blog

Live from TEDGlobal 2013 

Regenerating hope:
Siddharthan Chandran

 Posted by: Karen Eng
June 12, 2013

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Regenerative neurologist Siddharthan Chandran asks whether we can repair the damaged brain. 

Here’s the problem: 

Humanity is facing an epidemic of fast-progressing, devastating neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s, motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s. 

Collectively, this is one of the biggest public health threats of our time. 

Over 35 million people are affected, and the global annual cost is $700 billion and rising — greater than 1% of global GDP.

Chandran shows two clips of one of his patients, John, who, speaking through a respirator, explains that difficulty breathing in 2011 led to the diagnosis of motor neuron disease. In the second video, 18 months later, he explains that weakness in his legs means he now often uses a wheelchair, illustrating not only the devastating consequences but the shocking pace of the disease — a fit adult man rendered chair and respirator dependent in 18 months.

How does it happen? 

Chandran explains that the brain is “terribly simple,” made up of four kinds of cells — some nerve cells and some insulating, or myelin-producing cells.

“When they work together,” says Chandran, “they create an extraordinary symphony of electrical activity” that allows us to feel and emote.

But each of these cells can “go rogue or die,” resulting in damaged wiring and disrupted connections, damage that ultimately manifests in disease.

Chandran believes that hope lies in a new discovery — that the brain can spontaneously repair itself, an important fact that challenges old medical orthodoxy. So it can, but it just doesn’t do it well enough to overcome disease.

He shows an image of a brain affected by MS, where damaged cells on the brain are being spontaneously repaired — not by doctors, he says, but in spite of them, because stem cells endogenous in the brain are allowing new myelin to be laid down over the damaged nerves.
Photo: James Duncan Davidson

He asks why, if we’ve known this for a long time — and we have — are there no treatments? Because drug development is expensive and time-consuming and risky. The odds of isolating a treatment are 10,000 to 1, costing 15 years and $1 billion — and even then there’s no guarantee.

Can we shorten the odds? Yes we can, says Chandran, but we have to consider the point of failure. The problem, he says, is that traditional development requires isolating five compounds from 10,000, which are then sent to clinical trials, which are first done on animals. Why not use stem cells to bypass animal trials?

After all, he says, quoting Alexander Pope, “The proper study of Mankind is Man.”

We can now do this thanks to stem cells. Stem cells can do two things: they can self-renew, and they can specialize – they can give rise to any other cell, whether a motor nerve cell, a skin cell, a liver cell, and so on.

Over the last few decades, but especially in the past 10 to 15 years, major developments are allowing us to harness this ability. Dolly the sheep was the first example of an animal cloned from an adult cell. Then, in 2006, Shinya Yamanaka made an even bigger breakthrough, showing that four ingredients could effectively convert any adult cell into a master stem cell, effectively generating a personalized tissue-repair kit of pluripotent cells.

How can easily-pluripotent stem cells be useful for repairing the damaged brain? There are two ways. First, we can discover new drugs in a dish. Take a patient skin sample, reprogram it to make pluripotent stem cells and drive it to make a motor nerve cell, and ask how it compares to a healthy counterpart cell from a relative with a close genetic match. Comparing the health of the cells, one could observe, for example, that the unhealthy cell is 2.5 more likely to die than the healthy counterpart — a perfect assay for drug discovery. Using a high-throughput screening system, you can seek the drug that might be the most effective, and take it directly to human trial, bypassing animal testing. We can also use stem cells to repair damage, whether by activating those already in our brains to respond appropriately to damage, or by transplanting stem cells directly to replace dead or dying cells in the brain.

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

To close, Chandran cites an experiment investigating whether the stem cells grown from patients’ bone marrow could promote repair of damaged optic nerves in patients with MS. The study measured the size of the optic nerve before and after the stem cell injection. The optic nerve was measured after periodic injections, and Chandran found that optic nerves that had previously been shrinking began to grow. Chandran believes that the treatment was promoting the endogenous stem cells to “wake up” and make new myelin.

With this, the talk ends on an optimistic note. Chandran asked his patient, John, his hope for the future: “I hope that you can come up with a cure so that people like me can live a normal life.”

Chandran makes an exciting case that we’ll be able to repair the damaged brain sooner than we think.

Tags for this story:
cell regenerationLive from TEDGlobal 2013motor neuron diseasemultiple sclerosisregenerative neurologistSiddharthan Chandranstem cells















Siddharthan Chandran: Can the damaged brain repair itself?

Published on Feb 24, 2014
After a traumatic brain injury, it sometimes happens that the brain can repair itself, building new brain cells to replace damaged ones. But the repair doesn't happen quickly enough to allow recovery from degenerative conditions like motor neuron disease (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS). Siddharthan Chandran walks through some new techniques using special stem cells that could allow the damaged brain to rebuild faster.

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