Nov 5, 2011

The First Oral Treatment for MS

The First Oral Treatment for MS
STANFORD, CA (Ivanhoe Newswire) – 


Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects about 400 thousand Americans. The body's immune system turns on itself and attacks the brain. Until now, patients had to rely on injections for help. Now,  the very first oral medication for MS has patients talking.

"It’s every step you take, you feel the pain," Lisa Adams told Ivanhoe.

"I could be in a wheelchair. I could go blind," Lizette Garcia said.

Lisa Adams and Lizette Garcia were both diagnosed with MS  in the prime of their lives. It’s a disease that slowly robs patients of their ability to walk, see and even think clearly.

"I feel like it's unstoppable all of a sudden," Lisa said.

For years, the only treatments for patients with MS had to be injected. Now, the FDA has approved the first oral treatment called Gilenya.

"Patients are excited about that because it is an oral product. We have never had that before,"Jeffrey Dunn, M.D.,  a clinical neuro-immunologist at Stanford School of Medicine, said.

In MS, the body's immune system attacks myelin, a substance that protects nerves. Gilenya works by holding certain immune cells in the lymph nodes so they can't reach the myelin. In clinical studies, Gilenya reduced MS relapses by 54% compared to a placebo and by 52% compared to another common injectable drug. But some say doctors should be cautious when prescribing the oral medication.  

"What we don't know is what can happen long-term, and we don't know that until we have a lot more patients on the drug," Melissa Ortega, M.D., a clinical instructor and MS specialist at the University of Miami said.

Gilenya can also cause serious side effects like slowed heart rate, liver problems, headaches and a build-up of fluid in the eye. Still,  lisa says she'd give it a try.

"I’m so excited to think about maybe not having to go back to injections," Lisa said.
Lizette has been taking the oral drug. So far, so good.
"I’ve had no side effects. I have more energy, and I feel so good, and I’m happy about that," Lizette said.

Currently, there are four other oral medications in the final phase of clinical trial testing that could become FDA approved soon. One interesting fact about MS, doctor Dunn says the closer you live to the equator, the less at risk you are for the disease. Your chances greatly increase the further away you live.


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The First Oral Treatment for MS -- In Depth Doctor's Interview
Jeffrey Dunn, MD, a clinical neuro-immunologist at Stanford School of Medicine talks about a new oral option for MS patients
Are you seeing more MS patients now than before and why?
Dr. Dunn: I think so. One of the biggest differences has been the patients that we are seeing MS in, traditionally in the past MS has been thought of as a disease of Northern Europeans and Scandinavian those of that sort of ethnic heritage, the Northern European, Scandinavian heritage. As with any autoimmune disease females more than males, three to one ratio. But classically MS has been seen as a disease of Caucasians, light skinned, light eyed, light haired young adults. But increasingly in this area we’re seeing that MS affects not just folks of that ethic heritage but those of Indian ethnic heritage, those of Asian ethnic heritage, Hispanic and African American as well. Historically in the past these sort of have been described as nonconventional groups, the not classical case of MS. It’s been thought that MS in those individuals, the non-white individuals has been rare in the past. In fact we know now that’s not true MS affects all races and our ability and our awareness of the frequency with which it’s affecting these non-traditional groups is absolutely increasing.

There are more white people than Indian or other ethnic people is that the reason that we haven’t seen as much? http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=28179
México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Oct 30, 2011

New Funding For Polio - Potential For The Infectious Disease To Make A Comeback Published: Sunday | October 30, 20110 Comments



McPherse Thompson, Assistant Business Editor
Perth, Western Australia:The Australian government and the Bill Gates Foundation have announced just over US$93 million in new funding to help eradicate polio-myelitis, a debilitating disease that continues to strike the most vulnerable people, especially children.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australia will provide $50 million (US$53.3 million) over four years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to help purchase vaccines, monitor outbreaks, and respond when and where needed.
Australia's support will help take the final steps to achieve worldwide polio eradication, Gillard told a news conference at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday.
She was joined by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to make the announcement.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates joined the leaders via video link - recorded and shown to the press conference - to announce a US$40 million contribution to the eradication programme on behalf of the Gates Foundation and in support of the Commonwealth commitments.
The conference heard that since the eradication initiative was launched in the two decades since 1988, significant global progress has been made to reduce the number of polio cases.
The disease has now been estimated to have been eradicated by up to 99 per cent, and remains endemic in only four countries - Afghanistan and three members of the Commonwealth, namely India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
strong partnerships
The Australian prime minister has applauded the leadership shown by India, Nigeria and Pakistan in their ongoing efforts to eradicate the disease.
"We welcome global progress and encourage Commonwealth members to remain committed to overcome the final hurdles in polio eradication," Gillard said.
"The importance of strong partnerships between affected countries, donors and organisations like the Gates Foundation, Rotary International and the Global Poverty Project, in achieving eradication must also be recognised," said the prime minister.
Also documented as vital to the elimination of the disease have been the continued work of the Gates Foundation and Rotary International, as well as the personal contributions of many Australians, including Sir Clem Renouf, who in the 1970s, as Rotary president, led the international campaign to vaccinate every child against polio.
Jamaica reported the last case of polio in 1982 and saw the declaration of the region of the Americas as polio-free in 1994. However, indications of the potential for the infectious disease to make a comeback was realised in 2000 when neighbouring Dominican Republic and Haiti saw a resurgence of polio cases.
Last year, the Jamaica National Building Society donated US$2,500 to the Rotary Club of St Andrew North, US$2,000 of which was earmarked for the global polio eradication programme.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations Children's Fund, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Australia's contribution to polio eradication is part of its broader commitment to saving the lives of children and women in developing countries and its $1.6-billion commitment to maternal and child health over the five years to 2015, according to a bulletin from the prime minister's office.
It said increasing routine immunisation around the world has helped reduce the number of child deaths from 12.4 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010.
mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com
Full Caption
From left: The president of Nigeria, His Excellency Goodluck Jonathon; the prime minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper; polio survivor Ramesh Ferris; the prime minister of The United Kingdom, the Right Honourable David Cameron; the prime minister of Pakistan, His Excellency Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani; and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, announce initiatives on polio at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday. Contributed http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111030/lead/lead8.html

Canada pledges more money toward fight against polio

 

 


Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper gives a speech during the concluding session at a pre-summit business forum ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Perth October 27, 2011. CHOGM will be opened by Britain's Queen Elizabeth on Friday. http://www.canada.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/Canada+pledges+more+money+toward+fight+against+polio/5628087/story.html


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