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MS Clinical Care Connection
A Resource for Healthcare Professionals

From the World's Largest MS Research Meeting
The European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) and the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ACTRIMS) held their 7th Joint Meeting in October 2017.

Wellness and MS: Research (summarized on our blog) showed the potential benefits of wellness strategies for people living with MS.
One study measured the effects of a calorie-restricted diet and found significant results in weight loss and also in the metabolome that may provide additional anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in MS.
Another study found that more sleep, lower resting heart rate and lower cholesterol are related to greater cortical thickness and normalized cerebral grey matter volume.
In another study, researchers found that brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis could be ameliorated by aerobic exercise; participants showed improvement in EDSS and a significant increase in regional brain volume.

More research will be needed to corroborate these results, but these studies indicate a potential role for lifestyle factors in MS. See our Wellness Discussion Guide for providers and patients to learn more about engaging in effective conversations and decision-making around wellness strategies.

Emerging Therapies:
In a promising report of a phase 2 trial of people with progressive disease, ibudilast was found to slow the rate of brain atrophy.
In a large trial of children and adolescents, oral fingolimod (Gilenya) reduced annual relapses by 82% over two years compared to Avonex. The trial also showed benefits measured by MRI.
Siponimod, which has a similar mechanism of action as fingolimod, was found to reduce MRI-detected disease activity and brain atrophy in secondary progressive MS.
Another drug, ozanimod, also with a similar mechanism of action as fingolimod, was shown to reduce relapse rates in relapsing remitting MS.

Progressive MS: Researchers continue to focus on progressive MS, seeking ways to stop it and reverse damage. Among highlights from ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS were reports of what's being learned about how the brain repairs itself and what we can possibly do to encourage the natural regrowth. There's also emerging evidence regarding steps that can be taken to reduce risks of disease worsening, including data from a large-scale patient registry showing that being on disease-modifying therapy early and consistently delays the transition to secondary progressive MS.
Revised MS Diagnostic Criteria
The McDonald Criteria for the Diagnosis of MS, last updated in 2010, were recently revised by an international panel of MS experts co-chaired by Jeffrey Cohen, MD (Cleveland Clinic) and Alan Thompson, MD (University College London). The new criteria were published online in The Lancet Neurology on December 21, 2017. For a summary of the information and a table of the changes, please see our Research and Clinical News.
Social Security Disability Guide
The National MS Society’s Social Security Disability Guidebook for People with MS and their Healthcare Providers offers information, resources and tools to help patients and providers work collaboratively on a successful application for Society Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. This publication contains all the guidance, tips and worksheets you need to support your patient’s application. Also review our Social Security Disability Webinar.
Resources for Your Patients
Conferences for African-American families affected by MS will take place in locations across the country. These free educational conferences will offer a deeper perspective on mood changes in MS, with additional breakout sessions on research, wellness and spirituality.
Professional Education Calendar
View the calendar for upcoming meetings, conferences and other CE opportunities.
Free CME and CE
Wellness in MS Webinars offered by the Society and the Consortium of MS Centers
Webinars for Mental Health Professionals offered by Wake AHEC and the Society
Free mobile app – download or update now
Information at your fingertips about MS diagnosis, disease and symptom management. iPhone  or  Android
If you would like additional information or resources, please contact us at healthprof_info@nmss.org.
The National MS Society supports MS healthcare professionals through professional publications, tools and materials, as well as resources to share with patients and their families. Our information and resources are designed to help people affected by MS live their best lives—in partnership with all of the members of the MS comprehensive healthcare team.
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