The idea for writing an MS blog came to me out of the blue recently, but I might have never really started had it not been for the expert help of my computer-savvy daughter-in-law Sarah, who understands all things digital in a way that someone my age probably never will. So hats off to her, and to my son Teddy who also added his considerable expertise - not to mention the rest of my family who have long encouraged me to sit down and write, whatever it might be.
Since the majority of MS related blogs seem to be patient initiated, I thought it might be helpful to start one from the neurologist’s point of view. What I would like to accomplish here is to share some of my 30+ years of experience caring for, listening to, and treating patients with MS. In those years we have come a long way, from almost no treatment at all to our current remarkable array of treatments for many aspects of the disease. But of course as most readers of this are aware, there is still a very long way to go. While we have made progress in diagnosis and treatment of relapsing MS, we still do not have adequate therapy for progressive forms of MS and we are just beginning to understand how we might be able to someday repair myelin and other brain structures already damaged by MS.
I will try to keep my posts fairly brief, topical, and informal. I don’t know yet how often my schedule will allow me to write but I will try my best to keep current. I also plan to ask others in the field to contribute periodically to provide a change of pace and to address other topics of interest.
For the immediate future I will plan to update you on several important areas of interest including the new oral drugs expected for MS soon, new advances in understanding the risks and benefits of treating with Tysabri, and current treatment of MS symptoms, including fatigue, spasticity, and others. I will also update you periodically on the research projects in which we are participating. Other “hot” topics such as CCSVI, the so- called “liberation therapy”, as well as stem cell research, are on my radar screen as well.
A couple of other things to mention. First, when I say MS I am generally also including patients with NMO (Neuromyelitis Optica, formerly known as Devic’s disease), transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, ADEM and any other of the rare immune disorders of the nervous system. For patients with NMO in particular, there have been major advances in our understanding and treatment of their disease in the past 5 years, and I hope to be able to discuss some of those from time to time as well.
Secondly I would like to let you know that my opinions will always be mine alone. I don’t accept money or gifts from pharmaceutical companies, except for specific research work done with them. I’m actually one of the few docs around who does not talk to drug reps, not because I don’t like them but because I believe it’s best to get information about new drugs or other treatments only from independent sources.
So I hope this will turn out to be an exciting and educational venture. Bear with me if we hit any technical glitches - but I can always call on Sarah to the rescue! I will be back soon.
PS: Please remember that what I say here is my opinion only and is not medical advice. For your own specific concerns please contact your own physician.