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Thread: New hope for MS sufferers

  1. #1
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    New hope for MS sufferers

    A Sydney neurologist has raised hopes of a new weapon against Multiple Sclerosis by combining drugs already used to fight the crippling disease.

    The ABC's 7.30 Report said four MS patients had experienced a turnaround in their symptoms after the new treatment by Dr Dan Milder.

    Natasha Bagan was diagnosed with MS only two years ago and a rapid deterioration in her condition prompted her doctor to combine two medicines already in use against the disease.

    "We didn't know what to do," Dr Bagan told the ABC.

    "There's nothing obvious to do, there hasn't been anything that is known to reverse progressive forms of Multiple Sclerosis and she was going down hill."

  2. #2

    Bob

    Is there any additional text to this post?

    Onward and Upward!

  3. #3
    I think that the story came from this site:

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Health/story_33827.asp

    It is a pretty bad article... It does not say what the treatments are.

  4. #4
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    Chris..That was all that was posted on the article at that site...so i went on a search and found the transcript from the ABC's 7.30 report that it was taken from..

    Transcript
    17/6/2002
    New hope for those with MS

    KERRY O'BRIEN: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a cruel
    and baffling disease, one that attacks the central
    nervous system, mainly in women between the ages
    of 20 and 40.

    Its progress and severity are unpredictable, but at
    its worst it's a slow and painful road to paralysis
    and blindness.

    We don't know the cause, and there's no cure.

    So far medical researchers have been unable to
    progress beyond drug therapies which may reduce
    the severity of attacks, or slow the onset of MS.

    Now, a Sydney neurologist believes he may have
    stumbled upon something promising.

    Tracy Bowden reports.

    DENISE BAGAN: She was happy, very active, lots of
    sports.

    Never sick.

    She wasn't a sickly child, at all.

    It's devastating, and it's tragic.

    You don't think it's ever going to happen.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Just two years ago, Natasha
    Bagan was an active, healthy young woman with
    everything to look forward to.

    But a shocking diagnosis changed all that.

    NATASHA BAGAN: I had headaches and things like
    that, so I thought well, it must be something
    terrible.

    Then he said, "Oh, I'm thinking it's MS".

    I didn't know what that was.

    But then on the other hand I thought Betty
    Cuthbert, and that's -- I cried.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Sydney neurologist Dan Milder,
    Natasha's doctor, was disturbed by the unusually
    rapid decline in his patient's condition.

    DR DAN MILDER, NEUROLOGIST: We didn't know
    what to do.

    When I say 'we', she presented at a medical
    meeting and there was no consensus and there's
    nothing obvious to do.

    There hasn't been any therapy that is known to
    reverse progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, and
    she was going downhill.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Multiple sclerosis has affected
    Natasha Bagan's central nervous system, the brain
    and spinal cord.

    Normally, messages pass along the body's nerves
    quickly, because the nerve fibres are insulated by a
    protective sheath called myalin.

    In MS both the sheath and the cells that make it
    are attacked.

    Eventually scleroses or scars are formed and the
    messages no longer get through properly.

    DR DAN MILDER: It may affect balance, it may
    affect spinal cord function in the sense of strength,
    sensation, bladder control.

    DENISE BAGAN: There had been a rapid decline.

    He said to me -- well, my husband was told she
    would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life, she
    would eventually have to go to a nursing home
    because there would be no way that we could look
    after her.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Late last year, Natasha Bagan was
    admitted to hospital.

    DR DAN MILDER: He was unable to walk without a
    person on either side.

    Her vision had deteriorated very strongly.

    There was an appointment made for her to see the
    royal Blind Society.

    It was considered likely she was -- she would be
    functionally blind.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Then Dr Milder took a chance on a
    new combination of two drugs already used in the
    treatment of MS.

    DR DAN MILDER: She had been sensitive to steroids,
    to a form of cortisone and azathioprine is used as a
    steroid-sparing agent, so we thought we would try
    that.

    It has been used in multiple sclerosis, but without
    very strong benefit, and so we thought we had to
    add another drug.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Within weeks, Denise and Tony
    Bagan saw slight changes in their daughter.

    Within months, a dramatic change.

    Can you remember the first time you actually
    thought: there's something happening here?

    DENISE BAGAN: The first time I realised something
    was happening is one night I went to the Prince
    Henry rehab and she was standing on the verandah
    waiting for me and I said, "Where's your
    wheelchair?"

    and she said, "I don't use it any more, I walk."

    And that was really exciting.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Natasha Bagan's vision improved
    too.

    NATASHA BAGAN: There was a time when even
    before I could only see black and white.

    I was sitting in the lounge and I just said to mum,
    "Oh, I can see colour now".

    TRACY BOWDEN: With Natasha Bagan's promising
    improvement, Dr Milder decided to introduce the
    treatment to other patients.

    DR DAN MILDER: I thought it was likely to be
    significant, so a second patient was then started,
    who'd had the disease for 8 years, who'd been
    deteriorating strongly for the previous 4 years, and
    she also started to improve.

    And then a third, and now a fourth.

    TRACY BOWDEN: Dr Milder believes the treatment
    may allow the myalin around the nerves, damaged
    by MS, to regenerate.

    Could it be a fluke, a coincidence, it's only a
    handful?

    DR DAN MILDER: No-one to the best of my
    knowledge has had a series where consecutive
    patients have had significant, albeit partial, reversal
    of deficits.

    TRACY BOWDEN: But the Australian Association of
    Neurologists urges caution until there's been further
    scrutiny of the treatment.

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, RICHARD MACDONELL,
    AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION OF NEUROLOGISTS: It
    would be, I guess, on the face of it, unlikely that
    the combination of those two drugs would produce
    a miraculous effect.

    One would expect a modest effect at most, but as I
    say this observation needs to be subjected to
    proper scientific scrutiny, and it's certainly not
    disregarded but I guess placed in the appropriate
    context.

    LINDSAY McMILLAN, MS SOCIETY VICTORIA: All
    these good ideas need to be tested.

    But we can't deny the importance of letting people
    know that there are these potentially good news
    stories on the horizon.

    TRACY BOWDEN: The next step is for clinical trials
    to be carried out.

    Meanwhile, Natasha Bagan's condition seems to
    have plateaued.

    She and her parents know the future is uncertain,
    but what they are certain about is what they see
    today.

    DENISE BAGAN: We're excited about it.

    I mean, I don't know how -- I don't know in the
    long run how she'll be.

    I don't know how it will work.

    But as far as I can see it should only just get
    better.

    It's all hope.

    It's good.

    KERRY O'BRIEN: Fingers crossed

  5. #5

    Unhappy Ms people with sp cath's

    Ms is painful and cruel and have to wear sp cath tube 24x7 day to live my house with my husbad. Sometimetims it doesn't hurt but then i get horrible shotting pain.

    What about you all?

    Sue

  6. #6
    "Where's your
    wheelchair?"

    and she said, "I don't use it any more, I walk."

    To say that someday..

    Let's hope this is working on many, many ms victims!
    Good News

  7. #7

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