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March 29th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

Scientists find there may be two forms of multiple sclerosis

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

Scientists and doctors who study multiple sclerosis know, as of now, one of the best way to treat the condition is with beta-interferon. But over the years, the drug's effectiveness has been lukewarm in some people causing a third of all MS patients who are on the drug to suffer from uncomfortable flu-like side effects. Many can't handle it and so far, researchers have never figured out why.

Now scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine may have discovered that there are actually two kinds of multiple sclerosis and that each reacts differently to the standard treatment.

Researchers know multiple sclerosis is triggered when immune cells, called T cells, attack the myelin sheathing, which insulates neurons in the body. Healthy myelin sheathing is essential for the nervous system to function properly. When this material is attacked, it can cause serious symptoms including paralysis and blindness in those with MS.

In this study, published in the current issue of Nature Medicine, researchers established animal models of multiple sclerosis by injecting mice with myelin into their immune systems, causing it to attack the animals' own myelin nerve-cell coatings, much as MS attacks a human being’s. By looking at these animals and treating them with beta-interferon and then testing their blood the researcher found there were actually two different types of MS, caused by different patterns of T cells in the body. So what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for the other.

The researchers found that beta-interferon improved the condition of animals who had MS caused by gamma-interferon-secreting T cells, but made the symptoms worse in those mice whose MS was caused by IL-17-secreting T cells.

Intrigued, the investigators turned to humans. One of the study's authors, Dr. Brigit deJong, had previously been involved in research in Amsterdam in which multiple sclerosis patients were treated with beta-interferon and closely followed. The Stanford group obtained blood samples taken from 26 of these patients both before and about two years after the initial treatment. Without knowing which samples came from patients who had responded well or poorly to beta-interferon treatment, they went about measuring IL-17 levels in those samples. The human results were much like the animal models. Those with high amounts of IL-17 T cells had had negative reactions to beta-interferon.

"By making these distinctions in large human studies, people with multiple sclerosis might someday be able to take a simple blood test to see whether they are likely to respond to treatment with the standard multiple-sclerosis therapy." says senior study author Lawrence Steinman, M.D. of the Neurology and Neurological Sciences Department at the Stanford University School of Medicine,

If an inexpensive test can be developed to detect IL-17 in humans, MS patients and their doctors will know whether beta interferon is or isn't going to work. "For those who don't have the IL-17 T cells," notes Steinman, "those patients can receive beta-interferon and probably not in a diluted form but in a higher dose, which will help them better fight their illness."

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS affects 400,000 people in the United States. Dr. Patricia A. O'Looney, vice president of biomedical research for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, says the new research is very exciting. "Obviously this will need more testing in human subjects," explains O’Looney, "But this is a positive step in the right direction to helping to treat MS and other autoimmune conditions."

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soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Nan

    Now this work needs to expand to look at other medications and their efficacy & response in MS. Tysabri, Novantrone and others.

    March 29, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mark

    I am on Avonex and probably 75% or more I get seriously ill from it. This is an interesting article but leads me to now think that the medicine possibly is having no positive gain for me.

    March 29, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. James

    Not just at Stanford. Please share the credit.

    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/03/uab_stanford_find_multiple_scl.html

    March 29, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jim

    Dr. Grupta,

    I was diagnosed with MS in 1992. My neurologist immediately placed me on Betaseron and I hated the flue-like symptoms plus the every otherday injections. When Avonex arrived on the scene, I was placed on that. requiring an injection per week. I am a 55 year old Caucasian male. I took myself off of the Avonex about six years ago and find myself doing quite well. When on either injection(s), I had several relapses requiring steroid therapy. I have not had a relapse since I stopped the shots. I know my body and what I can and cannot do. I have a reasonably healthy diet and life-style. No relapses since being off of the injections and I feel fine.

    March 29, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jason

    This might explain why Beta interferon treatments never worked for me and the flu-like side effect never diminished over time. I'm currently taking Copaxone and that has been effective so far. This new research could be a tremendous break through in treating MS.

    March 29, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Citizen from NY

    SInce there is no "inexpensive" test for IL-17 T Cells, why not just run a test for gamma-inteferon-secreting T Cells, and if it comes up negative, then you know most likely the culprit is IL-17 T Cells. Then take it from there as far as treatment goes.

    March 29, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. CareFree

    I have MS, but seemingly a "mild" form. I have taken Avonex (beta-inteferon – 1a) injections for about 11 years. I have seen my MRI scan of my brain at doctor's, and there are numerous white patches. I have long-lasting vision impairment in one eye, although it originally started in the other eye. I have been having symptoms since 1980. Other than some mild weakness of my legs upon squatting & then trying to rise up again, I have been very fortunate in the disease progress. However, my mother also had it, could not walk at all for the 1-1/2 years prior to her death at age 52, in a nursing home. Likewise, my oldest daughter has it, more like my mother's symptoms than mine & at age 42, she is on the expensive medical administration of Tysabri, which can be dangerous. She has difficulty walking, speaking, thinking, & suffers from great fatigue. What I would like to see studied is a genetic component, since I was told (incorrectly, it seems) early on that it is not inherited!

    March 29, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MS patients daughter

    This is exciting to hear. My mother suffers from MS and has since her diagnosis is 1982, when little was know about the disease. Originally placed on Prednisone, as the disease progressed and she was given the beta-interferon, nicknamed "ABC" at the time She had the "flu like" symptoms to the point she lost about 60 lbs in about 7 months and vomited daily, several times a day. She finally told the doctor that she wanted the Prednisone back and she is still on it today. It was a very scary time for us, thinking it was just the flu. I am so happy to hear that more research is being done. ALthough it won't help my mother, it will go a long way to help others who suffer with this dreaded disease.

    March 29, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. mark

    My sister died last year after suffering with MS for over 30 years.
    Keep up the good work and maybe one day we will see a cure for this terrible disease.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. SC w/ MS

    I started on Avonex over 4 years ago. Once injected, I suffered the worst flu-like symptoms. I was told these side effects would get less and less after a certain amount of time....needless to say, the side effects got worse. After two years, I was exhuasted by the side effects and stopped taking Avonex. I have not had any symptoms since eliminating the injections. I have waited for an alternative to beta-inteferon – 1a medicine. I hope the finding above will help with newly diagnosed MS patients.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LuAnne Feinstein

    I was diagnosed 11 years ago, and immediately started once a day sub-cutaneous injections of COPAXONE (the brand name for glatiramer acetate ). No flu-like symptoms at all, I do have infrequent reactions that last 15 minutes or so, I do have loss of fat cells where I have injected for all of these years (especially thighs), BUT only one mild exasterbation and MRI's still do not show any new lesions.
    Sign me Blessed to have Copaxone!

    March 29, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Greg Orlick

    Please get the facts straight. Beta IFN used to be the top treatment. Copaxone is the global leader for the treatment of MS. It is not an interferon and works differently. I was on Avonex for 6 years, switched to Copaxone have seen significant improvement in my MS. Copaxone has the best safety, efficacy and tolerability of all the current MS drugs. Why is it not even mentioned in this piece?

    March 29, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sharon

    I have been taking Betaseron for the last 7 years. I continue to have flu like symptoms with each injection but am able to combat them with Tylenol and always injecting myself before bed. I have only had 1 relapse and it was 5 years ago!!

    March 29, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Hopefull

    @CareFree... I agree with you, I would like to see more research done on genetics as well. I always thought MS was one disease I would be spared from because when my dad was dx in 1981 at age 50, they said for years it was not hereditary. Well, I am now 40 and was stunned to get an MS dx 2 yrs ago. Sadly mine was missed on an MRI in 2003 which would have enabled me to get on Betaseron 5 yrs earlier but better late than never. I am hopefull to fall into the category of being helped by the shots and am glad my flu-like side effects faded over time. So sorry to hear your family has been hit 3 times by this crappy disease.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. paul

    My mother has been dealing with this disease for 30 years and nothing has helped slow the progression. When she had numbness, nothing got rid of it. When she needed a cane to walk, nothing helped get her balance back. When she went from the cane to the walker, nothing helped. And now she has gone from the walker to a wheel chair. My point is that this disease takes an inevitable course and despite the tens of millions of dollars being spent on research, there still exists nothing to help people or reverse this disease. Where is the progress?

    March 29, 2010 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. IndyVoter

    I have a friend who has MS who doesn't take any medication at all. She keeps it at bay with her diet and exercise. She stays away from harsh chemicals and gets plenty of rest....Sometimes I think we overmedicate ourselves and that these pharmaceuticals are marketed and prescribed sometimes in lieu of a more natural, less expensive alternative, just to make money.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. My wife has MS

    It would also be interesting to find out how this may or may not effect Copaxone. My wife has been taking Copaxone for about 6 years. The daily shots are a pain but she has only had about 3 major flare ups but none of the flu-like issues with the other therapies. Does Copaxone work better or worse depending on the type of MS?

    It would be nice to see them put as much money and awareness effort towards MS as they do at Cancers. Progress is too slow.

    I hate to sound cynical but I guess not enough people of prominence have been afflicted with MS for it to warrant the effort. Such a shame. It effects so many peoples lives, not just those with it.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. MS Patient's Wife

    As Jim stated, I too believe some treatments are too strong for some. My husband was on Betaseron for 3 years and also during that time Novantrone. We had to stop Betaseron because of liver..he is doing MUCH better now!

    March 29, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. MS too

    Like Carefree, I also seem to be fortunate in having a milder form of MS. I was diagnosed in July 2000 and began taking Avonex immediately and had terrible flu symptoms with every weekly injection. And I would catch every single cold or flu that came near me. With my small employer's insurance getting worse and the fear of losing coverage all together looming, I went off Avonex in the middle of last year to see how I would fair. Since then, I have felt much better, have become more active again and have not caught a single cold, including not catching my husband's two bouts over the last six months. My husband says it's like night and day since I discontinued the injections. Unfortunately, I have not seen my neurologist because I can't afford to pay for the MRI needed. I am just taking it one day at a time and hoping I stay stable. This research seems to confirm my experiences.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mike Flannery

    I was on Avonex and switched to Copaxone but began having reactions to it (flushing, dizzy, etc.). The nice Copaxone people told me to keep taking it, which I did, until one night when I passed out three times after my shot, fell and injured my neck. Would caution anyone having these reactions to quit taking it. I have been off all meds since 2007 and see no change. Hope the FDA fast tracks this reasearch!

    March 29, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. sister

    Lost my sister several years ago due to complications to MS. Glad to see that research is moving forward so maybe less people will lose those they love to this disease.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Bill Rouse

    I am some what surprised that CCSVI is not even mentioned in this finding. It strikes me that the many drug companies for the ABCRT MS drugs are all driving this MS bus with the National MS Society providing direction. How unfortunate. As a person living with MS would just love to understand the truth of this disease based on documented fact. Unfortunately, it appears support agencies ala the NMSS are not interested in helping find the truth of this disease. It appears the MS Society would rather follow the drug companies than lead and truly help people that live with this disease each day.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rahalt

    Interesting research, I have had MS for 13 years and have been fortunate with the treatment. However this is due to my own research of the available treatments and replacement of my doctor when necessary. My experience has been that the doctors have a comfort level with a limited number of the available treatments and tend to stand by them even when the results are impossible for the patient to tolerate. Good job on the research, maybe less opinion and more fact will prevent others from having to go through the trial and error to find out the best treatment for them.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Phillippa

    I was diagnosed w/ probably MS in 1998. it's probably because I wouldn't submit to spinal tap.

    I had optic neuritis that mostly resolved (still some vision loss in one eye). I do get other minor symptoms from time to time.

    I never went on the injectable drugs because I was paranoid that I would not be able to get health insurance because of that (and couldn't afford them during the times I was in between jobs). Oh, the irony!

    I don't think I needed them, though. Either I am lucky to have a mild case, or injectables wouldn't have been good for me, anyway.

    Healthy diet, exercise, taking care of myself all seems to work pretty well. Maybe more people ought to give that a try if they are having unpleasant side effects from the injectables?

    March 29, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Marilyn

    An interesting article. My husband was diagnosed in 1984 and was not too debilitated until after he fell and fractured his hip. That seemed to have started a down hill progression and now he has great difficulty walking with the walker, and there are other symptoms that are more pronounced. We too were told MS is not inherited, however my husband's father and his father's sister had it. My husband's sister and now at least one nephew has been diagnosed with it. The sister is quite debilitated from it and also the nephew. There is a lot that needs to be looked into when it comes to this mysterious disease. Hopefully one day they will find the cause(s) and then better treatment. My husband has had Prednisone and ACH with no response whatsoever. Being older, he has stated he does not want to try anything else, but will let the disease take its course.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mathew

    I work in a lab that does research on mouse models of multiple sclerosis. We do tests to detect the levels of IL-17 in a variety of tissues including blood serum all the time. It is not a complicated test and at scale not expensive either. The question is not about how expensive it is to do the testing. The question is still whether it is worthwhile to do such testing and if it will result in more positive patient outcomes. While poorly worded the underlying ideas sound promising.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Katie

    Mark,

    I was also on Avonex for about 5 months immediately following my diagnosis, but I only got worse. Now I have been on Tysabri for over 2 years and it's working wonders on me. I can dance in circles around all of my "healthy" friends!

    March 29, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. newbie

    I am a newbie to MS. I was dx in july of last yr and started Copaxone on thanksgiving. I know that there is a difference between the Interferons and glatimer. How will this effect us who dont take an interferon?

    March 29, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. NerveBuzz

    I've been on Betaseron for about a year and a half - luckily, I never had any flu-like symptoms at all from the injections, but I feel bad for those who react to it poorly.

    Let's hope they continue rapid research to end this disease. As a completely healthy, otherwise normal 38-year-old male, I was surprised at my diagnosis in 2008. The symptoms came up out of nowhere and within 5 days, I was in the hospital.

    March 29, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Ernest Kaiser

    Copaxone was shown to be no more effective that the placebo in trials, the real point is, not all MS is the same. For some people, it is persistent and aggressive, for others not so much. To date, the most efficacious treatment is Tysabri, despite a 1 in 2,000 chance of PML, which may already be dormant in some pts. A new test may help to identify those who may be vulnerable from those who are not.
    For an earlier poster: CRABs = Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, BetaSerone.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Deb

    I was diagnosed in 1994-on betaseron for 1 year. 15 minutes after my shot I was sick in bed. Decided to lift this illness up and see what life had in store for me............well 16 years later, and I will praise God, I still work every day, walk, eat, breathe, function, enjoy life and everything that it has in it. Very interesting........................

    March 29, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. HopeItSkipsMe

    @Hopeful and Carefree – 3 uncles, an aunt, cousin and second cousin all have this. The aunt and second cousin are on my mother's side and the rest are all on my fathers. 3 out of 5 brothers have this awful disease. The cousin is the daughter of my one uncle who doesn't have MS. Not hereditary? Hah. It would be nice to find a cure. Let's hope this is progress.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. decalis

    My friend took interferon when it first came out and her symptoms got so much worse, she had to stop taking it. I'm sorry to say that after 15 years of fighting MS, she passed away at the age of 43 last summer. It is a heart-breaking disease and I agree that more research must be done to find the cause and a cure.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. My Step Sister has MS

    My Step Sister was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago. I am please to see that such advancements have been made in the study of MS.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 33 year old woman with MS

    I was diagnosed with MS 5 years ago, and ever since, have been taking pre-filled Avonex shots weekly. (My symptom was an unusual weakness/tingling in my left leg that was present for 6 months.)

    I take 4 Advil, do my Avonex shot, then go to bed immediately. I get 8+ hours of sleep and am able to go to work the next day. I feel a little tired and achy the next day, but it's not the end of the world. I feel like it's a small price to pay for no new flare-ups.

    I'm sorry for others who are experiencing such pain with this med. I hope I can help at least one person out there to minimize the side effects. 1) make sure to get the shots that can be out of the fridge for up to 7 days; take your shot out at least a few days before you use it 2) take 4 advil 3) go to sleep for 8+hours 4) drink plenty of water the next day. (if possible, use "Relpax" to help with potential migraine next day)

    Thank you to all of the scientists, doctors, nurses, volunteers, and lab animals, involved and working on this effort.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Patricia Peters

    I am a 58 yr old female andI was diagnosed with MS in 1999. I was immedately prescribed Avonex injections. I self-injected this drug for 10 years until I developed stage 4 colo-rectal cancer. I still work every day and am tolerating the chemo very well.
    I have not noticed any real problems since the cessation of the Avnonex. I am just very aware of my limitations and carry myself accordingly.
    I now use a wheelchair as my balance is the pits and I have already fallen and fractured three bones in my foot. I also am on daily Baclofen and Amantadine, both of which keep my energy level acceptable and help with the muscle spasticity.

    I now what you are talking about with the flu-like symptoms. They left me so weak, I did not have the strentgh to blow my nose. Not too much fun.
    Anything that can be done to enhance the treatment is a welcome move.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Ron

    Where does the new oral drug fit into this picture I have a daughter with Ms and she quit taking any shots for it several years ago./

    March 29, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Just Cause

    There is an organization working on bringing international teams together. To bring their expertise and research to one place to better inform the public. I keep reminding others in my community the cure is closer than we may think, keep the faith. Keep supporting your local MS chapter, not only are they raising funds for those affected by MS they are also raising awarness and research funds. Together we will beat this thing.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Neil

    I had been on Rebif since 2003 and while I have only had 3 major flare-ups in that time, I am now being treated for hypertension (I'm only 38 years old, 6 ft, 175 lbs) caused by all the Advil I was taking to battle the headaches caused by the Rebif. I am also being monitored for enlarged kidney and liver. I have stopped taking the Rebif late 2009 since I feel it is doing more damage than the MS itself.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. KK

    My husband was just diagnosed with MS a few months ago. He started copaxone injections yesterday, and I am confused as to why we never tried the beta-interferons first, since those injections aren't daily like copaxone. Reading this article makes me hopeful that 1-this test will actually work, so he can try the beta-interferons and 2-have the best possible case for staying athletic, active, happy and un-affected. I am so frustrated, but reading this article gives me a shred of hope. It breaks my heart that we have to be the best advocates for ourselves...I just think there isn't enough good information out there.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. MS'er

    I have been diagnosed with MS for almost 3 years now. I started with the interferon, was so miserably sick for 2 months and felt cognitively impaired , I couldn't tolerate it anymore. I stopped and felt much better with a few short weeks. I have now been on Copaxone for 2 years, with no side effects to speak of, besides some minor skin damage from the daily shot. In hindsight, I wish I just would have started with the Copaxone in the first place and never have injected that nasty inteferon into myself.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Brian

    I have had MS for about 7 years. I started with Rebif and that stuff was poison as far as I'm concerned. It caused extreme fatigue ect. I quit taking it after 1 year. I have been taking Copaxone with minimal side effects, except hard spots where injected. I quit taking the shots around a year ago, and have not had any flares. I'm not sure if I want to continue with any treatments. I hate NEEDLES. I'm not sure if I will ever resume treatment.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Gail

    I was diagnosed w/RR MS 12 years ago, and have gone through the gammet of treatments, from Copaxone, Betaseron & steroids once a month. Despite these treatments, I am now considered to be in the Secondary Progressive phase of the disease and still continue to get a little worse and a little worse. Now there are currently no treatments available for the later stage of the disease, only some meds to help a few the symptons.
    Hopefully this research will finally determine what will stop the progression or at least slow it down.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. MS Patient

    This doesn't mean that there is necessarily a link between people who develop flu-like symptoms and people who have the IL-17 blood cells. One could feel flu symptoms and the interferon could still be working because as I understand, the flu symptoms are a result of the drug's effect on the liver

    March 29, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Scarlet

    I have had MS since 1993 and could never stand any of the medicines prescribed. Why should I take something that isn't supposed to cure you but maybe help you stay the same. How do you really know those medicines are actually keeping it at bay?
    I have found in the last few months a medicine that I am trying and only cost $20 a month. It is called LDR (low dose naltrexone). This is an active opioid antagonist and it is a pill form, not a shot. It seems to be helping but we will see. It is for people with autoimmune diseases, central nervous system disorders and even cancer and HIV/AIDS. I know, it sounds like a miracle drug but check it out online as I found it on the Dr. Mercola website. Ask your physicians also, they probably have never heard of it and it's been around for decades.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Cathy

    I was diagnosised with M.S. 24 years ago. I had a large active lesion C3-4 area. After a year of not knowing what was going to happen to my health and young family because of my health, I made a desision not to go on the beta -inteferon injections. It was new on the market. I stayed with the steroids. I also started living a very healthy lifestyle. I am a CT/MRI tech. For years sleep was not an option, because I spent many hours working call in the ER. Every other aspect of my life was healthy. I stumbled after regaining my walk back. I still suffer from fatique and still stumble, and have an occasional floater. I took myself off the steroids 12 years ago. I am determinded to go through my life not looking back at this disease. It will always be a part of me, just not in control. Someday this disease will be gone because of people like us. Our children will be safe....

    March 29, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Sharon Fujs

    I've had MS for about 25 years, but only started taking Avonex 15 years or so ago. Still, after all of these years, I still feel the flu-like symptoms for most of the 24 hours following my injection.

    My neurologist suggested that I might try some other treatments, but I am doing rather well on Avonex. I don't want to change a treatment that seems to be working.

    But is it really working? I began MS by losing my eyesight in both eyes and have had only a few major attacks in the years that I have had it. Most of my disability is cognative! I have had to change careers and adjust my life to accomodate my memory loss and inability to comprehend concepts.

    I am curious to know if either of the two forms of MS in the above article show a difference in cognative vs. phyiscal symptoms. This seems to be an area of MS that has not been explored, probably because most MS patients do not feel the cognative effects before they experience phyical effects.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Dale F. Heckman

    I was diagnosed with MS in Sept. of 1964. I have felt over the years that no real progress has ever been made, other than in diagnosing
    the horrible disease.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. darcy quimby

    I was diagnosed with MS in July of 08 and was immediately placed on betaseron. hated the flu like symptoms. I actually got worse until I was medically retired from the Army in Nov 09. My new neurolgist has just started me on Tysabri. I have had 1 infusion. My health has improved greatly. This does explain alot

    March 29, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. George

    I was dx in 1999 while in training for a marathon. Quite surprised by the dx but immediately was put Avonex. I've been fortunate in that I am able to mitigate the flu like symptoms with Motrin. After 24 hrs I feel normal. I have not changed my lifestyle because of the illness and continue to run marathons and other races. I have never had another exacerbation since the initial dx although the annual MRI shows small lesions. I am one of the lucky ones it seems since I had a friend that passed from the disease before his 50th bday.

    March 29, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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