7th Multiple Sclerosis Research Day

7th Multiple Sclerosis Research Day

7th Multiple Sclerosis Research Day

This was the 7th Multiple Sclerosis Research day. The idea was originally started by Professor Giovannoni in 2009. Initially other academics and experts in the field of multiple sclerosis attended and very few sufferers.

7th Multiple Sclerosis Research Day

This has now changed completely. The day is organised for sufferers and their carers. The day is to help then to be more aware of medical developments in the field of multiple sclerosis. The clinical experts  talk about an area of research in layman’s terms. The theme on this occasion was progressive MS.

The development of highly effective new therapies for people with Relaspsing Remitting MS (RRMS) is astonishing. Now they are so successful that many of the accepted facts about the average times before people need a walking stick or a wheelchair will need to be reconsidered.

7th Multiple Sclerosis Research Day

I missed out

I was diagnosed in 1994. There were no drugs available then that could slow down the rate of progress. Avonex a brand name for Interferon B was the first drug and it came to market in 1997. My MS was not sufficiently aggressive for me to be put forward for treatment.

One snippet of information that I found very interesting. Current thinking is that Primary Prgressive MS (PPMS) and Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) are considered to be identical. Both these conditions require neuroprotection to slow down the rate of progress. RRMS is treated by reducing inflammation of the myelin or rebooting the immune system.

Ocrelizumab

Does this mean that Ocrelizumab can be made available for people with Secondary Progressive as well as Primary Progressive? Possibly yes but I think it is a case of watch this space.

Trials news

Phase II of the MS-SMART trial is fully recruited. They are still looking to recruit people for the Canbex trial. I think this is proving to be difficult because the current drugs need taken for Spasticity need to be a washed out of the body. Only then can the trial drugs be taken.

Stem Cells Therapy

There was a talk on stem cell therapy. Destroying the existing immune system and replacing it with stem cells is a difficult procedure.  In the talk there was a strong message telling people not to go for treatment unles it is an authorized centre that knows what it is doing.

Cladribine has not been authorized by NICE and is only available by off-label prescribing. This therapy can be given to anyone who has relapses and people with PPMS and SPMS have relapses so it should be made available to them.

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