What Is MS? – A Vimeo Video Series

I found these amazing videos on Vimeo, which means they’re publicly available and totally legal for me to post here on my blog (for as long as they’re up, anyway lol!)

Please watch, enjoy, and comment!

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3. What Is Multiple Sclerosis? from Michael Yonchenko on Vimeo.

This is Part 3 from the series, “An Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis”.

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Dealing with an MS Diagnosis – A Vimeo Video Series

I found these amazing videos on Vimeo, which means they’re publicly available and totally legal for me to post here on my blog (for as long as they’re up, anyway lol!)

Please watch, enjoy, and comment!

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2. Dealing With A Diagnosis of MS from Michael Yonchenko on Vimeo.

This is Part 2 in the series, “An Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis”

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Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis – A Vimeo Video Series

I found these amazing videos on Vimeo, which means they’re publicly available and totally legal for me to post here on my blog (for as long as they’re up, anyway lol!) I think they were created to make a DVD for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. I’m going to try and find the entire series to post over the next week or two – I’m not sure how many “episodes” there are yet. Please watch, enjoy, and comment!

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1. An Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis from Michael Yonchenko on Vimeo.

This is the first part of the series, “An Introduction To Multiple Sclerosis”.

What’s the Difference Between MS and CCSVI?

I’ve been very wary about “believing” in CCSVI as the miracle cure that a lot of people seem to be claiming. Dr. Zamboni seemed to me to be claiming too much, too soon, without a lot of research to back his claims up. Here’s an article explaining a little about it, and I’ll discuss it below.

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What Is The Difference Between Multiple Sclerosis And CCSVI?

While Multiple Sclerosis and CCSVI are two separate conditions, it is very easy to become confused between the two. In essence, they occur within the same part of the body and have very similar symptoms. It is also possible that one causes the other, or vice versa. These two medical conditions have been associated with the other since their discovery.

Before the recognition of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and CCSVI, doctors believed in all sorts of superstitions regarding the brain. It was not until the late 19th century that conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, and other abnormalities of the central nervous system, were acknowledged. Soon, all doctors recognized the fact that mental illnesses are usually caused by disorders and injuries related to the brain.Multiple Sclerosis was first diagnosed in England by a man named Dr. Moxen. Slowly, more and more research was conducted on those who experienced phenomenons such as dizziness, numbness, and loss of control over bodily functions. But even in recent years, little information has been made available about the debilitating disease.

Before the recognition of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and CCSVI, doctors believed in all sorts of superstitions regarding the brain. It was not until the late 19th century that conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, and other abnormalities of the central nervous system, were acknowledged. Soon, all doctors recognized the fact that mental illnesses are usually caused by disorders and injuries related to the brain.

Multiple Sclerosis was first diagnosed in England by a man named Dr. Moxen. Slowly, more and more research was conducted on those who experienced phenomenons such as dizziness, numbness, and loss of control over bodily functions. But even in recent years, little information has been made available about the debilitating disease.

When Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni discovered that his wife was victim of Multiple Sclerosis, he set out to research the condition and find a cure. What he discovered was that almost all patients of MS have narrow or blocked veins leading from the brain to the heart. Those with insufficient drainage of spent blood from the brain to the heart often had blood reflux back to the brain. This, he concluded, was the cause of the neuron damage that attributes to Multiple Sclerosis.He called it, “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” or CCSVI. This newly discovered disorder was diagnosed in some patients who had not experienced the neuron damage associated with MS. While Zamboni believed that CCSVI is the cause of Multiple Sclerosis, other medical professionals argue that it is quite the opposite. Perhaps, they say, patients with MS are simply very likely to have problems with their veins, as well.

Zamboni developed a procedure, best known as Liberation treatment, which involves the use of medical balloons or splints to widen the passages that drain the blood from the brain. These damaged veins were often found to be surrounded by lesions that are often associated with Multiple Sclerosis. When these veins were able to carry blood freely from the brain and central nervous system, these damaged parts of the brain were able to work correctly to send impulses throughout the body and control the functions of life as they should.

As for Zamboni’s wife? She has not experienced Multiple Sclerosis symptoms post-procedure, and is happily enjoying her life symptom free. About half of all MS patients experienced a complete elimination of all symptoms after opting for Liberation treatment. Within the United States, it is rare to find a doctor who is able to do the procedure, and it has been banned in many states save for when performed for the purpose of research. Many patients have resorted to traveled outside of the country to find doctors who are willing to perform the operation. They feel they have nothing to lose, and many have faith that it is the true cure.

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So here’s the thing: the only person I personally know who went for a “Liberation” treatment (on his own dime) got a whole lot of nothing out of it. He had it done over Christmas and he has noticed nothing. Nothing bad (except for his drained bank account,) but nothing good. I think the mistake is in assuming CCSVI and MS are the same thing. Maybe CCSVI is just another syndrome that shares a bunch of symptoms with MS, to the confusion of everyone involved. Have you heard that old cliche “too good to be true?”

I love the fact that so many people are posting videos about how the intravenous stent treatment for CCSVI has truly “liberated” them, I love that it IS helping a lot of people, but it’s not helping everyone with MS. At first I was very excited about the treatment, thinking “Awesome! A cure! Everyone will be able to get their lives back!” but the more I heard about it, the more it kinda sounded like “snake-oil” to me. Yes, I tend to be a skeptic.

And yet I wanted it to work – I wanted it to be at least a step towards the end of the hold MS has on the lives of those who live with it. It looks like it IS that step for some people – maybe someday soon there will be another step, and another, and more and more people with different symptoms of MS will be set free.

Caffeine May Slow the Progression of MS! Woohoo!

Ah crappity, I think the video was taken down, because I can’t even find it anymore on Vimeo. Anyway, here’s a link to a WebMD article about caffeine and MS. Funny thing, when I googled, the first link that came up was this article, and the next was one claiming caffeine makes MS worse. How about that?

Here’s the WebMD Article

And here’s an article saying caffeine is evil and makes MS worse!

OMRF: Multiple Sclerosis from SAXUM on Vimeo.

SAXUM PRODUCED VNR FOR OMRF

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Okay, I’ll admit it, I love coffee. I’m actually trying to cut down on the amount I drink, because I don’t want to rely only on caffeine to get me through the day. This video article was posted three years ago, and unfortunately I don’t know what happened with further studies on caffeine in MS, but I love the thought of not completely giving up coffee!

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Haha so upon further research: the study was only done on mice not people, on a condition “similar to MS”, and the equivalent amounts of caffeine given to these poor mice was more than anyone should be drinking in a day. So experts “wouldn’t advise people to change their caffeine intake.” Nuts! Further proof to not believe everything you find on the internet, even if it looks all shiny and official!

Headaches, Optic Neuritis, and Muscle Spasms


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I recently had a chat with my massage therapist about these headaches I get behind my eyes. Before this conversation, I would freak out every time I got one of these headaches (which was a lot) because every time I’ve had optic neuritis it started with one of these headaches. Luckily, my massage therapist had another option for me, so now I don’t need to freak out every time one of these headaches pops up! They can be muscle related, and in this video I explain all about it.

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New Breakthrough In MS Medication!

Woot! I thought this was pretty cool. I found this article on “Medical News Today” and I wanted everyone to see it even if I can only show the first two paragraphs here:

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First Oral Treatment For People With Multiple Sclerosis Approved In Canada

Main Category: Multiple Sclerosis
Also Included In: Regulatory Affairs / Drug Approvals
Article Date: 11 Mar 2011 – 2:00 PST

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. announced that its new MS treatment, Gilenya™ (fingolimod), has received Notice of Compliance in Canada. Gilenya™ (fingolimod) is the first disease modifying oral therapy developed for the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS) which is the most common type of the disease in adults. Unlike current therapies which all require daily or regular injections or infusions, Gilenya offers simple once daily oral dosing (0.5 mg) in a capsule, providing an efficacious and convenient treatment method for a complex and lifelong illness. Gilenya is approved for use in patients who have tried one or more MS therapies, but are unresponsive or intolerant to them.

“The approval of Gilenya is a significant milestone for the Canadian MS community,” says Dr. Daniel Selchen, a neurologist from Toronto, Ontario. “Oral therapies have been greatly anticipated by both patients and physicians who are eager for alternatives to injection and infusion therapies. With its excellent clinical trial efficacy data, along with convenience, Gilenya is welcome news for those seeking a new option to manage their disease.”

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Please read the whole article by clicking HERE – it’ll open in a new window for you.

I’ve never had a problem with needles (thank goodness) but I have friends who pass out if they catch a glimpse of a puncture on TV. An oral medication would bypass the whole group of self-injection issues pretty handily, I think. There are (as usual) side effects, and the drug isn’t appropriate for everyone, but wouldn’t it be amazing to just be able to take a pill instead of dealing with injections or infusions?

It’s not a cure for MS, but it apparently does slow progression. It lowers the white blood cells, so does that make it an “immuno-modifier” or an “immuno-supressant?” In either case, you’d have to be careful when around other infectious people (like we’re not already!) and you’d have to decide with your doctors if this is the right treatment for you. I wonder why would it only be approved “for use in patients who have tried one or more MS therapies, but are unresponsive or intolerant to them?” It seems like a simpler treatment than most of the others I’ve heard about.

What do you think? Does this seem like a good idea to you? Is it something you’ll ask your doctor about? Is anyone involved in the Clinical Trial for this medication, or has anyone been put on it through their doctor? I’d love to hear what your experiences are.