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    Breakthrough in multiple sclerosis research

    for our friends with multiple sclerosis


    Breakthrough in multiple sclerosis research
    Scientists detect protein that may be key to the disease

    Kavita Mishra, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Printable Version

    Stanford researchers reported new findings Wednesday that they say bring them closer to understanding what causes multiple sclerosis.

    In the report published in the online version of the journal Nature, the researchers implicated a protein that they believe normally regulates the human immune system, but doesn't do so in people with the lifelong illness.

    The researchers, led by Stanford neurologist Lawrence Steinman, said they are optimistic their discovery will lead to new treatments for patients and possibly a way to stop the disease's progression.

    For Joyce Bruno, one of the 400,000 people in United States with multiple sclerosis, the report was good news.

    "Even if it isn't the answer for me, I have a feeling it's going to be an answer for someone," the Walnut Creek resident said.

    In 1990, Bruno started to drag her left leg and felt intense muscle cramps in both legs. An MRI of her brain revealed she had signs of multiple sclerosis, and her doctor told her the haunting word "incurable."

    She was forced to retire from managing funds at a mortgage company four years later, at the age of 44, and now uses a cane to walk.

    Most people with multiple sclerosis experience a range of symptoms -- from daily fatigue and weakness to blindness and paralysis. They are diagnosed early in adulthood and experience symptoms, as the immune system attacks nerve cells, intermittently throughout life. To avoid a whirlwind progression of these symptoms, they take steroids and other drugs to suppress the immune system and control the disease.

    Siblings and close relatives have a higher risk of the disease. Doctors currently tell patients that the disease is caused by a mixture of bad genes and environmental factors. But the work by Steinman and his team is putting new focus on a protein in the body called alphaB-crystallin.

    The researchers found that people with multiple sclerosis had more alphaB-crystallin in their bodies than people without the disease. They looked at the protein, usually found in high levels in the lens of the eye and in muscle, in both humans and mice.

    In mice that were designed to lack the protein and had a multiple sclerosis-type illness, the disease worsened. When the protein was given back to the diseased mice, the illness improved, showing that the protein could help check the hallmark inflammation of the disease.


    Stem cells & MS: what the investigators see

    Stem cells & MS: what the investigators see
    nside MS, Feb-March, 2007 by Martha King

    Last month, the National MS Society hosted an international meeting in San Francisco, which allowed 30 cutting-edge investigators to present new findings, share insights, and debate some issues emerging from this frontier in MS research. After lengthy discussions, they forged preliminary agreements about the best ways for the MS research community to move ahead. They grappled with these questions:

    * What are the prospects for stem-cell-based treatments for people with MS?

    * What are the prospects for stem cell systems to speed drug development by identifying promising compounds?

    * How can stem cells help scientists understand the cause of MS?



      Thanks for posting these articles. I have had MS now for 28 years and been in w/c for 12 years.


        Originally posted by wheels4one
        Thanks for posting these articles. I have had MS now for 28 years and been in w/c for 12 years.

        You are welcome wheels4one, check this site, you might like it because it has all the latest breakthrough for MS:

        Monday, June 25, 2007
        Promising prescription: $5.5B market waiting as Pipex tests 2 drugs

        By Andrew Dietderich

        6:00 am, June 25, 2007

        An Ann Arbor-based company that’s moving to the American Stock Exchange today plans to tap at least two drug markets that could be worth a total of $5.5 billion annually, using drugs licensed from the University of Michigan and the University of California at Los Angeles.

        Two weeks ago, Pipex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Amex: PP) received $5 million from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the largest grant ever given by the organization.

        Pipex has six drugs in its pipeline, but two are closest to going to market: Trimesta and Coprexa.

        Trimesta is used to treat multiple sclerosis; and Coprexa is used to treat Wilson’s disease, which destroys the lungs.

        Pipex was founded in Miami in 2001 by Steve Kanzer, the company’s chairman and CEO. A biotech investor, Kanzer moved Pipex to Michigan in 2004 to be nearer to the talent pool in Ann Arbor.



          Avigen Initiates European Multi-Center AV650 Phase II Spasticity Trial in Patients wi

          I saw this today, hope is a good news.

          Avigen Initiates European Multi-Center AV650 Phase II Spasticity Trial in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis
          Wednesday September 5, 8:00 am ET
          Twenty-Five Center Trial Will be Conducted in Five Countries in Europe

          ALAMEDA, Calif., Sept. 5, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Avigen, Inc. (NasdaqGM:AVGN - News) a biopharmaceutical company innovating therapeutics for the treatment of neurological conditions, today announced the initiation of a Phase II trial for AV650 (tolperisone HCl) in the treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). This Phase II spasticity trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of AV650 in MS patients at doses up to 900mg for one month followed by an open-label safety extension. The trial will be conducted in top MS centers in Germany and several other European countries.

          ``Our development plans for AV650 in North America have been strategically designed to leverage the clinical experience of tolperisone in many of the European countries where the drug is currently approved,'' said Kenneth Chahine, Ph.D., J.D., Avigen President and Chief Executive Officer. ``This trial reinforces Avigen's U.S. AV650 development program by allowing us to accumulate long-term safety and efficacy data needed for commercialization.''
          Avigen is developing AV650 for commercialization in the North American market for the treatment of disabling neuromuscular spasticity and spasm under a license and supply agreement with Sanochemia Pharmazeutika AG. AV650 is considered a New Chemical Entity (NCE) in the United States.

          Tolperisone is an orally administered, centrally acting small molecule marketed for the treatment of neuromuscular spasticity and spasm in Europe and Asia. Avigen's U.S. development program is designed to build on the extensive ex-U.S. safety and efficacy experience with this compound. Versions of tolperisone have been approved for marketing in Germany for over 10 years. Sanochemia and its European marketing partner, Orion Pharma, have recently received approval for marketing a proprietary 150mg tablet formulation of tolperisone in Germany under the brand name Viveo(r) which is expected to be launched later in 2007.



            Pipex Pharmaceuticals Announces Broadly Issued European Patent Covering Uses of Oral TRIMESTA for the Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases, Including Multiple Sclerosis

            Claims Covering Use of Estrogens Including TRIMESTA, in Combination With Popular Immunotherapies to Treat Multiple Sclerosis
            September 06, 2007: 07:00 AM EST

            Pipex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMEX: PP), a specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative late-stage drug candidates for the treatment of neurologic and fibrotic diseases, announced today that it has received a broadly issued European patent which covers the use of estrogens in combination with other FDA-approved multiple sclerosis therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.




              Stem cells trial for MS patients

              Stem cells trial for MS patients

              A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) is being pioneered near Bristol.
              Six patients at Frenchay Hospital are being injected with their own stem cells in the hope that they will repair damage to the brain.

              Approximately 60,000 people in the UK suffer from MS, an incurable disease of the nervous system.

              Prof Neil Scolding, of the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, said: "We know stem cells are attracted into the brain, into these areas of damage."

              He added that he hoped the stem cells would "help those areas to stop getting worse" and "repair damage".

              'Lot of hope'




                Stem cell trials raise multiple sclerosis hopes

                By Martin Beckford
                Last Updated: 12:01am BST 28/09/2007


                  Originally posted by manouli
                  Stem cell trials raise multiple sclerosis hopes

                  By Martin Beckford
                  Last Updated: 12:01am BST 28/09/2007
                  Thanks Manouli. It seems there is a break through every other week in MS. Now if we can see it in all types of the disease and those sick for many years as this last group is.
                  Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                  Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


                    Multiple Sclerosis Nerve Damage Repaired By Scientists
                    Editor's Choice

                    Main Category: Multiple Sclerosis News
                    Article Date: 10 Oct 2007 - 0:00 PDT

                    Nerve damage which was caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) was repaired by scientists from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, who were working with mice. The scientists said it is hoped this may lead the way to new treatments for humans.

                    The immune system of a MS patient attacks the fatty myelin sheath which covers the nerves, gradually destroying them. The patient's nerves do no work properly; he/she experiences loss of balance, blurred vision, and sometimes paralysis. The symptoms can be treated/managed to some extent; however, there is no modern way to repair damaged myelin.

                    In this latest experiment, the scientists re-grew myelin in mice with MS by using a human antibody. At the American Neurological Association meeting they explained that they would be starting human trials after further tests are carried out on animals.

                    The scientists said that although this technique of using natural human antibodies to treat MS has never been tested in humans, they believe their findings are very promising.

                    The human body generally is able to repair myelin as and when required - unfortunately, this is not the case with the MS patient; for them the myelin repair process occurs very slowly or fails altogether. In this experiment, the researchers used an antibody that was genetically engineered from a single cell and managed to get the repair underway in mice with MS. The antibody continued working even while the mice were undergoing steroid treatment with methylprednisolone. Humans with MS frequently have to take steroid treatment.



                      Immune Ablation and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Aggressive Multiple Scle

                      Immune Ablation and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Aggressive Multiple Sclerosis: Presented at ECTRIMS
                      By Chris Berrie

                      PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC -- October 22, 2007 -- Immunoablative therapy plus autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) completely abrogates relapses and MRI events related to ongoing inflammation for up to 5 years, researchers reported here at the 23rd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS).

                      Mark S. Freedman, MD, Steering Committee Member and Professor of Neurology, University of Ottawa, and Director, Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Ottawa Hospital-General Campus, Ottawa, Canada, presented the 5-year interim analysis from a 3-year phase 2 study.

                      "If we completely remove the diseased immune system, we should halt ongoing immune-mediated damage, because we would have removed the mistake," Dr. Freedman said during his presentation on October 13. Furthermore, the purified stem cells should be capable of restoring a functional immune system, and might even be capable of stimulating repair.




                        In the Clinic - Dr. Harold Atkins, MD, on Marrow Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

                        (November 7, 2007 - Insidermedicine) Welcome to Insidermedicine In the Clinic, where we bring you advice on clinical skills from some of the world's best doctors, giving you the inside track on knowledge gleaned from years of medical experience.

                        In this video, Dr. Harold Atkins, MD, a clinician-scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and the Ottawa Health Research Institute, discusses bone marrow stem cells and regenerative medicine in the context of Multiple Sclerosis.

                        see it:



                          i SAW THIS TODAY, AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO SEE IT.

                          Stem Cells- Dr. Omar Gonzalez' Therapy for all Ills!

                          Biological solutions for degenerative diseases, bringing in hope where
                          there is none!

                          SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Sister Nancy Boushey, Rio Grande
                          City, TX, resigned to a life of pain with Rheumatoid Arthritis is healthy
                          and normal today thanks to Dr Omar Gonzalez. She hails him as a savior" my
                          Good Shepherd, Jesus and His own good shepherd, Dr. Omar, have rescued me
                          from a valley of darkness."

                          Cathy Zuker, Mt. Pleasant, MI, patient of multiple sclerosis for years
                          was unable to walk unaided. She dragged her left leg and had to LIFT her
                          legs manually when she got into the car. After her implants she can't stop
                          smiling and the sparkle in her eye says it all" I have stopped taking one
                          of two antidepressants without any negative effects. My friends say I
                          'glide'. I also wake up without a headache' "My mind and my life turned 360
                          degrees as my body became CANCER FREE!'" says an equally exultant Peggy
                          Seagrist from Corpus Christi. She suffered from breast cancer, arthritis
                          and a masticated tumor in the stomach. Multiple placenta implants and
                          acupuncture brought her out smiling!



                            Glaucoma Assessment Tool can Help to Track Multiple Sclerosis Progression

                            Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain is the gold standard for monitoring the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), but it is expensive and comes with limitations, one of which is the inability to assess fully the extent of loss of neurons.

                            New research by neurologists at the University at Buffalo has shown that a technique called optical coherence tomography, or OCT, a simple and inexpensive measure employed currently to assess glaucoma, also could be used as a surrogate marker of disease status in MS and to assess the effectiveness of new and current MS treatments. Results of the study appear online in the "in press" section of the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.




                              MS: Stem Cell Transplant

                              Stem cell transplants for people with MS: What does the research show?

                              Currently, stem cell transplants are an experimental treatment for MS. We know that they have the potential to help treat MS, but that the procedure can have a number of health risks. Research is ongoing to determine whether stem cell transplants are safe and effective.

                              Scientists first realized that stem cell transplants may work for MS when they discovered that MS patients, who underwent stem cell transplants as part of their cancer treatment, had a noticeable improvement in their MS. This, plus promising animal studies, led to more interest in studying stem cell transplants for people with MS.