Mês: novembro 2016

EM = MS

Can specialised eye assessments monitor MS activity and attacks? Researchers assess whether changes in the retina can be used as a marker of MS activity Last updated: 14th November 2016   The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina converts light rays into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to our brain, where they are interpreted as the images we see. The retina is delicate and composed of different cellular layers. Specific parts of the retina behave similarly to the cells in the brain during MS. Therefore, assessing retinal layers (using optical coherence tomography or OCT) could be an alternative measure for assessing the health of brain cells. This is important because assessing the retina is cheaper and more accessible than brain MRI. In this study from Munich, Germany, investigators assessed 108 people with MS (without therapy, on first-line therapy, or on second-line therapy) over the period of one year. They found that the volume of a specific layer of the retina (called the inner nuclear layer) at the beginning of the study (baseline) was associated with disease activity on MRI and number of MS attacks. The investigators emphasise that more studies are needed to confirm their findings but, if they do, it would suggest that assessing the retina through optical coherence tomography (OCT) could be used to monitor MS activity. Read...

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EM = MS

Alemtuzumab vs interferon in relapsing remitting MS Study shows that alemtuzumab is more effective than interferon in reducing disease activity in relapsing remitting MS Last updated: 14th November 2016   Alemtuzumab is a highly effective FDA-approved treatment for relapsing-remitting MS, but compared to other MS drugs the risk of serious side effects is high. Alemtuzumab works by killing certain types of cells made by the immune system (T and B cells). These cells normally attack viruses and bacteria, but in MS they attack the myelin which covers the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Alemtuzumab stops these cells from reaching the brain and spinal cord before they can damage the nerves there. In 2012, two clinical trials (called CARE MS-I and CARE MS-II) assessed the effects of alemtuzumab in comparison with subcutaneous interferon beta-1a. Both studies found that alemtuzumab was superior to interferon as assessed by number of attacks in people with MS. In the current study, investigators reported further information on MRI outcomes of these two studies. A total of 1,248 people with relapsing-remitting MS were included, and were followed for two years. Investigators found that alemtuzumab is superior to interferon in reducing disease activity on MRI and brain shrinkage (which could be a result of the death of brain cells). The results of this new study confirm and complement the evidence for superiority of alemtuzumab in...

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Donald Trump

If Trump moves to heal ties with Russia, establishment will oppose him fiercely – Stephen F. Cohen   (Video Link: https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/366442-trump-promises-foreign-policy/ ) An outcome that no mainstream media outlet predicted, a victory that the elites decried – the people have voted to make Donald Trump the next US president. Millions of Americans are tired of being ignored and want radical change. But can Trump deliver on his promises? Regarded as an outsider in his own party – will he be able to implement his foreign policy approach? We ask professor emeritus at Princeton University, contributing editor at The Nation magazine, Stephen Cohen. Sophie Shevardnadze: Dr. Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus at Princeton and New York University, contributing editor at “The Nation”magazine, welcome to the show, it’s always great to have you back. Now, the media backed Clinton, Hollywood backed Clinton – but Trump had a stronger social media presence – his tweets to his 14 million followers made all the news – was that what made the difference in the end? Do Americans not believe in traditional media anymore, do they find social media more trustworthy? Stephen Cohen: I have no idea – I am not a social media person. I think, the media here has covered this, that there was a profound disenchantment, I guess, anger, with many many people, with the political establishment, both Republican and Democratic, and Trump took on the...

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Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker  David Remnick Oct. 17,2016 When Leonard Cohen was twenty-five, he was living in London, sitting in cold rooms writing sad poems. He got by on a three-thousand-dollar grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. This was 1960, long before he played the festival at the Isle of Wight in front of six hundred thousand people. In those days, he was a Jamesian Jew, the provincial abroad, a refugee from the Montreal literary scene. Cohen, whose family was both prominent and cultivated, had an ironical view of himself. He was a bohemian with a cushion whose first purchases in London were an Olivetti typewriter and a blue raincoat at Burberry. Even before he had much of an audience, he had a distinct idea of the audience he wanted. In a letter to his publisher, he said that he was out to reach “inner-directed adolescents, lovers in all degrees of anguish, disappointed Platonists, pornography-peepers, hair-handed monks and Popists.” Cohen was growing weary of London’s rising damp and its gray skies. An English dentist had just yanked one of his wisdom teeth. After weeks of cold and rain, he wandered into a bank and asked the teller about his deep suntan. The teller said that he had just returned from a trip to Greece. Cohen bought an airline ticket. Not long afterward, he alighted in Athens,...

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Donald Trump

Trump should resist neocon & shadow gov’t influence to justify people’s hopes – Ron Paul to RT   1.5K Donald Trump’s success or failure as the next US president will largely depend on his ability to keep his independence from the “shadow government” and elite structures that shaped the policies of previous administrations, former presidential candidate Ron Paul told RT. Trends US Elections 2016 Trump, 70, enters the US presidency a political virgin, whose policies will be shaped by advice offered by his political cabinet. “Unfortunately, there has been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump. And if gets his advice from them then I do not think that is a good sign,” Paul told the host of RT’s Crosstalk show Peter Lavelle. The retired Congressman said that people voted for Trump because he stood against the deep corruption in the establishment, that was further exposed during the campaign by WikiLeaks, and because of his disapproval of meddling in the wider Middle East. “During the campaign, he did talk a little bit about backing off and being less confrontational to Russia and I like that. He criticized some the wars in the Middle East at the same time. He believes we should accelerate the war against ISIS and terrorism,” Paul noted. Trump’s ability to honor his campaign rhetoric will depend on the role of the so-called “shadow government,” and the president’s ideals to stick...

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