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Multiple Sclerosis

May 14, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
Smoking marijuana to relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is a practice with a fair number of adherents, though it has not been subject to rigorous testing. A new study finds that puffing weed does have a rapid and measurable effect on MS patients' muscle spasticity and on their perception of pain. But subjects who smoked pot were not able to walk any faster and -- surprise! -- they felt higher than members of the control group who smoked marijuana stripped of THC. The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, recruited 30 MS patients who suffered from spasticity -- stiffness and involuntary muscle spasms that are a common symptom of MS -- as well as from pain, usually in the back.
May 10, 2012 | By Ian Duncan, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - An experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis has caused death, strokes, nerve damage and abdominal bleeding and has no proven benefits for sufferers of the disease, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. Known as liberation therapy, the treatment targets chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency - or CCSVI - a narrowing of the veins in the head and neck. It involves inserting balloons or stents into veins to widen them in an attempt to relieve the symptoms of MS. The FDA received reports in 2011 of a patient who died from bleeding in the brain after undergoing the treatment and another who was left permanently paralyzed by a stroke.
April 17, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
An experimental drug called ONO-4641 reduced the number of lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by as much as 92%, Colorado researchers reported Tuesday. The drug must undergo a larger clinical trial before it can be approved for general use, but the early results suggest it could be a major new addition to the slowly growing armamentarium against the cruel disease. MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the myelin that surrounds and insulate nerves, effectively short-circuiting them and making movements difficult.
March 7, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Pregnancy is known to cause a remission in symptoms of multiple sclerosis in women who have MS prior to becoming pregnant. Now a study has found that multiple pregnancies may help prevent MS from ever developing. The study, published online Wednesday in the journa l Neurology, reviewed information on 282 men and women who received a diagnosis of central nervous demyelination. That's a condition that reflects early symptoms of MS but falls short of an actual MS diagnosis. The researchers compared those people to 542 healthy men and women.
February 16, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
It can be swallowed, injected, inhaled or delivered to the bloodstream through a time-release implant. Now scientists say they have devised a new way to give patients their medicine: through a fingertip-size microchip embedded in the body that doctors can control remotely via a wireless connection. The drug chip, more than a dozen years in the making, was used to deliver bone-strengthening hormones to women with advanced osteoporosis who otherwise would have needed daily injections.
February 2, 2012 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A Pasadena woman who served 12 years in theU.S. Army, including tours of duty in Iraq, filed suit Wednesday against the Department of Veterans Affairs for denying her full disability benefits because she is married to a woman. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles by Tracey Cooper-Harris seeks a ruling that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against legally married same-sex couples. Cooper-Harris, who earned the rank of sergeant and more than 20 medals during her Army service, was honorably discharged in 2003 and married her spouse, Maggie, during the six-month period in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in California.
December 23, 2011
Romney's life Re "Romney opens up about his life," Dec. 19 Nothing speaks more poignantly about Mitt Romney than his response to his wife's multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 1998. Those living with MS and other debilitating diseases and their families appreciate his candid and open sharing of one of life's greatest challenges. He and his wife, Ann, can serve our nation well as a family managing the reality that even with almost unlimited wealth, each moment in their lives is uncertain.
December 18, 2011 | By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
In case you've missed it, Mitt Romney is ready to dish. The famously buttoned-up presidential candidate, frequently described by voters as too aloof and wealthy to understand their problems, has long shied away from public introspection. But Romney suddenly seems determined to let America in — delving into his faith and personal life on the campaign trail while engaging in a dizzying series of interviews that will be capped with an appearance Monday night on "Late Show with David Letterman.
September 30, 2011 | By Ben Bolch
South East's 31-28 victory over Garfield on Friday night did more than give the Jaguars their first victory in the history of an Eastern League rivalry that has spanned seven years. It also served as a tribute to two South East players who were sidelined after a tumultuous week. Running back-linebacker Gerardo Leos is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Offensive lineman Jorge Garcia was sliced in the arm Friday morning while assisting a female classmate who was fatally wounded in a campus stabbing . "We've always said this game was going to be for them," said South East cornerback Juan Nevarez, who made two big plays to preserve the victory.
September 29, 2011 | By Ben Bolch
The right arm that had helped carry Gerardo Leos onto the varsity football team as a sophomore was numb. The right leg that had helped earn him the nickname "Tasmanian devil" was weak. It was July, and the normally fleet linebacker-running back from South East High in South Gate was seemingly stuck in slow motion. He could barely lift one of his legs over a set of ropes during practice drills. "I knew there was something wrong," said Derwin Henderson, Leos' coach, "because he's a really quick kid and he's always first in line.
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