Uploaded on Jul 26, 2011
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Uploaded on Jul 26, 2011
Friday, June 27, 2014
Acorda's multiple sclerosis drug faces generic threat
June 26 Thu Jun 26, 2014
(Reuters) - Acorda Therapeutics Inc said Actavis Plc plans to market a generic version of Acorda's multiple sclerosis treatment, Ampyra.
Ampyra, which was approved in January 2010, had net sales of $72.5 million in the first quarter ended March 31.
Acorda said Actavis has submitted a marketing approval application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of the drug.
Acorda said it intends to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights.
(Reporting By Penumudi Amrutha; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Brain Channel, a platform to explore research and ideas on the brain and mind, as well as possible treatments for conditions related to the nervous system.
The workings of the brain define us – what we sense, what we know, who we are. In health, the brain functions marvelously. Our goal is to find out why the brain sometimes lets us down and leads to illness.
We are on the cusp of what promises to be an era of unprecedented progress in neurology. Even with current fiscal constraints and serious concerns about how healthcare will be organized and financed, in the next two decades progress in neurology and neurological science will create important new insights into the brain as we decipher its disorders and discover and apply effective treatments.
Learn more about the brain and all its possibilities. Check back often for new programs, news and resources.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
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Jason DaSilva tells a brave and remarkable story in When I Walk. He was already an accomplished documentary filmmaker (Lest We Forget, Olivia's Puzzle) by the age of 25. If there is glamour in the world of documentary, DaSilva garnered his share of it with his intelligence, good looks and genial manner, and he was able to travel the world making films about people and issues that mattered to him.
In 2006, DaSilva took a camera with him on a family vacation in the Caribbean. Though he had been diagnosed only months earlier with multiple sclerosis, the disease — which attacks the central nervous system — had until then remained invisible. In the vacation footage, DaSilva is robust and in good spirits. Then a family member holding the camera catches the moment when the young man's legs simply crumple under him, leaving him helpless. The episode passes and DaSilva recovers his strength, but his collapse heralds the onset of an untreatable, unpredictable, often disabling illness. Being the filmmaker that he is, DaSilva decided to make a movie about it.
Given the mysteries surrounding multiple sclerosis, or MS — including its causes and the course it will take in any individual — DaSilva couldn't have known what he was getting into. Using animation, he illustrates what he learned, that MS causes the body's immune system to attack nerve endings in the brain and spinal cord. The results can include loss of vision, muscle control, balance and what DaSilva calls "a whack load of other problems." Like the comment, the animation has a surprisingly comic edge, and in the early stages of the disease — and the film — he is amazingly buoyant and positive, and even adventurous in his attitude about the journey he has begun. In part, this is because DaSilva "feels fine most of the time."
When the filmmaker's mother, Marianne D'Souza, enters the film, it's quickly clear that her son's fighting spirit was inherited from her. He's beginning to struggle with the disease taking over his life, but she upbraids him — in a tough, old-world and loving manner that reflects her roots in India. She challenges him to finish the film he's started, wants to know why he's "whining and sighing all the time" and, after a litany of global suffering, tells him, "Things are tough. . . . Get real . . . you molly-coddled North American kid!" Throughout her tirade, DaSilva can't stop grinning. As he says, "When all else fails, there's Mom." (Later in the film, she confesses that her bluster was partly a way to control her anguish.)
In DaSilva's case, MS has taken a tragically rapid course. In the span of the five years covered by When I Walk, the once vigorous, well-built young man goes from walking on wobbly legs to using a cane then a walker then a wheelchair and then, almost happily, a scooter. But the physical difficulties and mishaps multiply, and he struggles to continue making his film.
He fights back in every way he can. In the beginning, he spends hours at the gym, until he no longer can. He undergoes an experimental procedure that promises much but benefits him little. He goes to his ancestral India to defy his disease by making a fiction film, but finds himself too disabled to finish. While there, he tries traditional medicine and spirituality. He visits an old uncle to ask whether the uncle remembers anyone else in the family with such a disease. An aunt on the Catholic side of his family sends him off to Lourdes, France, where he finds no miracle cure.
When DaSilva finally has his own emotional breakdown in front of the camera, he bemoans most of all the rapid pace of the disease. Despite his determination to adapt and make the most of what he has, he discovers that his disabilities have intensified so quickly that he barely has time to compensate for one affliction before something worse arrives. It's difficult to see how anyone could rise above such a situation, much less complete a movie in it.
Yet midway through When I Walk, something miraculous occurs. DaSilva meets Alice Cook, a young woman whose mother has MS, in a support group. The story of their love, evidently as indomitable as MS, takes them through great and small joys and despair, with unexpected turns of humor. They marry and Cook gets pregnant.
Together, DaSilva and Cook spearhead the creation of AXS Map (access map), a crowd-sourced online tool for sharing reviews on the wheelchair accessibility of buildings in New York City. AXS Map encourages people to rate the accessibility of businesses and places on a scale of one to five stars. For DaSilva, the dream behind AXS Map is to know all the places that are accessible to him nearby in order to regain the spontaneity and adventure he enjoyed when he was able-bodied.
DaSilva relies more and more on Cook not only for everyday needs, but for help in editing the film. Yet MS cannot take his whole life away, and his bond with his wife becomes both the means and subject of completing When I Walk. DaSilva's early decision to film his struggle was both rash and inspired. Through the added burden of making the film, an unblinking record of his decline, he manages a great love and a great film, and perhaps makes meaning of his fate.
"I wanted to capture this transformative experience — becoming disabled — because I hadn't seen it done before, and people need to see how a degenerative disease impacts the lives of those living with it," says DaSilva. "My diagnosis was not the end of the world. Instead, it has proven to be a new way for me to see and be in the world."
When I Walk premieres Monday, June 23, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations.Jason DaSilva was 25 years old and a rising independent filmmaker when a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed everything — and inspired him to make another film. When I Walk is a candid and brave chronicle of one young man’s struggle to adapt to the harsh realities of M.S. while holding on to his personal and creative life. With his body growing weaker, DaSilva’s spirits, and his film, get a boost from his mother’s tough love and the support of Alice Cook, who becomes his wife and filmmaking partner. The result is a life-affirming documentary filled with unexpected moments of joy and humor. Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).
After the broadcast, visit the When I Walk companion site to watch an extended interview with filmmaker-subject Jason DaSilva, see what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling, download a discussion guide and other viewing resources, find out how you can “make the world a more accessible place”
with AXS Map, and ask the filmmakers about the film on Twitter on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 (the day after broadcast) from 7 PM to 9 PM ET (4-6 PM PT).
When I Walk will be streaming free online later in 2014. For updates on when, and for more from POV’s 2014 season, subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs.
Coming Soon to POV: When I Walk « POV Films Blog:
'via Blog this'
"Many doctors remain ambivalent about prescribing medical marijuana for chronic pain, even though new federal rules allow patients in Canada to legally purchase dried cannabis with a doctor's prescription, a debate recently highlighted in a medical journal.
Monday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal includes two pro/con-type commentaries:
New medical marijuana regulations: the coming storm
Medicinal cannabis: Time to lighten up?
Dr. Meldon Kahan of the Substance Use Service at Toronto's Women's College Hospital and Dr. Anita Srivastava of St. Joseph's Health Centre and the University of Toronto argue physicians should advise some patients to quit smoking marijuana and refer them to treatment.
CBC's Dr. Brian Goldman:The endless debate over medical marijuana
Kahan and Srivastava say the only clear indications for medical marijuana are neuropathic pain conditions (a type of chronic pain that affects the nerves) and spasticity from multiple sclerosis. Smoking cannabis is not recommended for common pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or lower back pain, they say.
Patients will ask doctors to prescribe cannabis for chronic pain but physicians need help to understand how to counsel people to know when and how to meet the requests.
"Smoked cannabis has short-term and long-term safety risks," the pair wrote. "Smoking cannabis has been associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, schizophrenia, mood disorders and addiction."
Prescriptions should state that the producer supply a strain with no more than nine per cent THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, Kahan and Srivastava said.
For people who smoke marijuana, they suggested doctors advise:
Don't light up daily.
Don't mix it with alcohol or sedating drugs
Don't drive after smoking up.
Dr. David Juurlink, an internist and head of the division of clinical pharmacology at the University of Toronto, said doctors shouldn't accede to every request for medical cannabis as if it were an "innocuous panacea" because it is not.
But doctors also shouldn't reject cannabis as a medicine out of hand just because it makes them feel uncomfortable, he said. Concerns about pot's safety and effectiveness shouldn't deter doctors from considering prescribing it in some cases, especially when opioid drugs like oxycodone carry heavier baggage in terms of toxicity.
"I'm trying to discourage physicians from the perception that drugs obtained at a pharmacy are necessarily better for an individual patient than cannabis, if a patient has reported benefits from its use," Juurlink said.
Instead Juurlink advocates for doctors to make decisions about prescribing cannabis when it is sometimes deemed the right thing to do, just as every other prescription decision is made after balancing the risks, benefits and patient-specific factors."
Medical marijuana's benefits debated - Health - CBC News: