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We Rally: The Impact of Federal Medical Research Funding

Blog Summary

In September, the U.S. Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded through December 11, 2015, meaning federal agencies and programs receive a 0.2108% across-the-board cut in compliance with the Budget Control Act and Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget caps. The goal is to work out a comprehensive budget for FY 2016 before December 11th. This Fall two MS researchers joined forces on Capitol Hill to rally for federal MS research funding. Together they’re sharing their experiences to help us all better understand how the ongoing budget negotiations will affect their work...

Parenting with MS: An interview with Dr. Deborah Miller

Blog Summary

We recently sat down with Dr. Deborah Miller of Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research to discuss parenting with MS. Here’s what she had to say: Tell us about your role at the Mellen Center. I am a master’s prepared social worker, which means that I have clinical experience working with individuals and families with MS. I also have a PhD in Health Services Research. I do a lot of work in developing measures that assess patients’ reactions to different interventions, as well as their responses to illness. I also develop interventions to help people better manage their MS. It’s been a wonderful combination of having the hands-on clinical experience to understand the issues people are experiencing and the ability to conduct research that will allow us to more systematically manage the issues that people with MS and their families commonly face...

MS, Relationships and Intimacy: An interview with Dr. Peggy Crawford (Part 1)

Blog Summary

We recently sat down with Dr. Peggy Crawford to discuss relationships and intimacy. As a health psychologist, Dr. Crawford has worked with individuals and families with multiple sclerosis for the past 25 years. She was a member of the staff at the Mellen Center for Research and Treatment of MS at the Cleveland Clinic and then a faculty member in the Department of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati. Over the years, Dr. Crawford has been actively involved with the National MS Society as a presenter, consultant and committee member and with CAN DO MS as a member of the program staff. In your experience working with people with MS, what do you see as the greatest challenges that couples face when it comes to MS and intimacy?...

The Wahls Protocol: An Interview with Dr. Terry Wahls

Blog Summary

We recently sat down with Dr. Terry Wahls to discuss diet and MS. Dr. Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa and a staff physician at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospital, where she teaches medical students and resident physicians, sees patients in traumatic brain injury and therapeutic lifestyle clinics with complex chronic health problems that often include multiple autoimmune disorders, and conducts clinical trials. She also lives with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, and has personally found great benefit in treating her MS through a specific program she calls the Wahls Protocol™...

Marijuana & MS: An interview with Dr. Robert Fox

Blog Summary

This month, we sat down with Dr. John DeLuca and Dr. Robert Fox to discuss your questions about marijuana and MS, as part of our new Discussion of the Month feature. Read our interview with Dr. Fox of the Cleveland Clinic below. Our interview on marijuana and cognition with Dr. DeLuca can be found here...

Cannabis & Cognition: An interview with Dr. John DeLuca

Blog Summary

This month, we sat down with Dr. John DeLuca and Dr. Robert Fox to discuss your questions about marijuana and MS, as part of our new Discussion of the Month feature. Read our interview about marijuana and cognition with Dr. DeLuca, Senior Vice President of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation, below. And check back tomorrow as we talk with Dr. Fox about how to talk to your doctor about marijuana, whether or not to continue on your other medications, what we know about various forms of cannabis and cannabinoids, and more...

We Must Rally for Medical Research

Blog Summary

When I finished graduate school and decided I wanted to do research on neurologic disease, I went to work with one of the first women studying myelin, Dr. Marjorie Lees. Marjorie inspired me to build my research around understanding myelin and oligodendrocytes which are damaged in MS. Over the years, my research has built on her training and kept me focused on identifying how myelin is made and repaired in the brain. There has been very exciting, fast progress over the past two decades in identifying new therapeutics that reduce the immune component of MS, but there remains damage in the central nervous system.

Kids DO get MS

Blog Summary

Last week my husband and I went to Capitol Hill and spoke to more than 30 congressional members and staff who were gathered to learn more about a topic close to our hearts: pediatric MS. Together with the Director of Partners Pediatric MS Center and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, we helped shed light on a diagnosis that affects an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 children and adolescents, including our son Sean. Sean's symptoms started when he was just 7 years old. He was dizzy, off balance, and had slurred speech. We took him to the emergency room, where – during the course of a weeklong stay in the intensive care unit – a battery of tests was performed and a diagnosis of Acute Disseminating Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) was made. I remember reading about ADEM and the mention of MS, but I never thought twice about it since we had heard that “kids don’t get MS.” ...

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: An Interview with Dr. Richard Burt

Blog Summary

Could you please explain the stem-cell procedure that you’re testing?    We are testing a procedure called hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), but there are a lot of misnomers that can cause confusion for people who are not familiar with HSCT. First, hematopoietic stem cells are immune stem cells. So, perhaps a better term would be immune stem cell transplantation. Second, the word “transplant” can cause confusion. When people hear it they often think of a transplant for cancer and we do not use these cancer drugs; we don’t use radiation or any cancer treatments. Nor does HSCT include transplantation of someone else’s stem cells – we give the patient their own stem cells during the procedure...

Mesenchymal Stem Cells: An interview with Dr. Jeffrey Cohen

Blog Summary

Could you explain the stem cell procedure that you’re testing?   There are currently eleven medications approved to treat multiple sclerosis and several more around the corner. The available medications are all useful in relapsing MS – an inflammatory phase in the disease – but there is a big need to find treatments for progressive MS. We think this will require different strategies, such as neuroprotective treatment strategies or repair-promoting strategies, which has led to a lot of interest in cell-based therapies...
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