MS Research Roundup: November 25, 2015
MS: A Family Story; Take Your Brain Outside; Thank You, MS Researchers
MS Research Roundup collects items of interest to multiple sclerosis researchers from around the Web. Send us your tips: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All in the Family
MS can take different forms in the same family, as MSDF readers may remember from a genetics study involving five siblings of a Chicago-area family last year. Another family story involving a father and daughter with MS frames the current quandary for patients: More than a dozen new treatments in the past 20 years for relapsing-remitting MS, but no cure, and no treatment for progressive forms, which ultimately affect most people with MS. “ ‘All of us are incredibly fearful for the future,’ Rebecca Kuchar, 37, of Detroit, Michigan, told Stat, the new life-sciences sister publication of the Boston Globe. “I don’t know whether I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be blind. I don’t know whether I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be in a wheelchair.’ That’s why she needs a cure, not just treatments, for her symptoms: ‘I literally dream every night of waking up to someone saying, We’ve got it.’ ” (Stat) (Story tip from Sara Loud)
A few weeks ago, outdoor retailer REI announced it was closing on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, known as Black Friday, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Instead, the sporting goods company is paying employees to #OptOutside and asking others to join them. To us, that means walking in the woods or wheeling through a local park. It’s good for our bodies and our brains. What’s the MS connection? Research suggests exercise can help manage many MS symptoms. An additional bonus is sun exposure and controlling body weight. A recent study from Denmark suggests that more sun and less weight may be as important as a known genetic risk factor for delaying onset of MS in teens and young adults. The National MS Society has ideas and resources for exercise, both indoors and out. See you out there! (NMSS, PLOS Biology, REI, Science News)
Thank You, Researchers
In the United States, where MSDF is based, it’s the season to give thanks. So here is a big shoutout to the thousands of researchers, clinicians, and others who devote vast swaths of their lives to understanding MS and related demyelinating diseases. You’re working in some of the most difficult areas of science to find better ways to intervene and improve patient lives. We know it’s hard, and we are grateful for your persistent efforts. (XKCD) (Tip from The Finch & Pea)