Continued Efficacy and Safety Seen with 15-Year Evaluation of Copaxone

In February 2010, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced the publication of their data from 15 years of prospective and continuous evaluation of Copaxone®. The 15-year study findings appeared in the February 2010 issue of the journal, Multiple Sclerosis. Given the positive results, this study has been extended to 20 years, and is presently in its 19th year. Copaxone is given via daily subcutaneous injections and is approved for individuals with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

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Positive Study Results with Oral FTY720 Leads to Granting of Priority Review Status by FDA

In January 2010, the results from two large Phase III trials with oral FTY720 (fingolimod) were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. According to a press release from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (makers of FTY720), the TRANSFORMS and FREEDOMS studies showed positive results in reducing relapses, disability progression, and MRI lesions when MS patients were given FTY720.

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FDA Approves Botox for Upper Extremity Spasticity

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox® (onabotulinumtoxin A) for the treatment of spasticity in the flexor muscles of the elbow, wrist, and fingers in adults. Manufactured by Allergan, Inc., this drug is administered via injection by a medical professional and is available through prescription only.

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In Memory of Jimmie Heuga (1943-2010)

Jimmie Heuga, founder of The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis in Colorado, passed away on February 8, 2010. Renamed "Can Do Multiple Sclerosis," this center continues to carry on Heuga’s philosophy and passion for teaching individuals with MS to live life to the fullest.

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Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

A great deal of media attention has been given recently to the possible connection between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and multiple sclerosis (MS). CCSVI is a complex condition involving changes in blood flow from the brain back to the heart, which some researchers theorize could possibly lead to activation of the immune system, excess iron deposits, loss of myelin, and other nervous system damage.

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Flu Vaccines for the 2009/2010 Flu Season

Two flu vaccines, the seasonal flu and the H1N1 (“swine flu”) vaccines, will be available for the 2009/2010 flu season. The seasonal flu vaccine protects individuals from three types of flu and is currently available. The H1N1 flu vaccine protects individuals from the newest type of flu, which was first detected in people living in the United States in April 2009. The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available in early to mid-October 2009.

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