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Issue: #18

MSResearchUpdateMS Research Update

MRI technique can spot tissue damage months before an MS attack

A study published in Neurology found that a relatively new MRI technique could spot changes in the brain up to three months before inflammation causes a multiple sclerosis (MS) attack. Traditionally, we have viewed MS as a disease where the immune system attacks the brain, causing the abrupt onset of inflammation (measured by gadolinium enhancement). This inflammation causes damage to the brain, which causes symptoms. Continue reading. 


Do injectable therapies benefit progressive forms of MS?

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recently published their Top Five Recommendations in the Choosing Wisely Campaign in promoting high value neurological care. This was done in collaboration with the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and Consumer Reports to reduce ineffective and costly care. One of the AAN's recommendations was to stop prescribing interferon-beta and glatiramer acetate to people who have progressive, non-relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Continue reading.


Vision Problems with MS: Can Ap-4 (Ampyra) help?

Each optic nerve contains approximately one million nerve cells (neurons) that connect the eye to the brain. Inflammation from multiple sclerosis (MS) can affect the optic nerves. Therefore, it is very common for people with MS to have vision problems. Recent studies of 4-AP, available commercially as dalfampridine (Ampyraź) are finding that the therapy may improve walking. New research suggests it may also benefit vision for people with multiple sclerosis. Continue reading.


cyclistsCyclists to Ride Cross-Country to Swedish

 Help Us Thank and Congratulate Them Sunday, August 4


More than 30 bike riders will arrive at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish on the afternoon of Sunday, August 4 to celebrate their cross-country bike ride, and to make a contribution in support of the Center. We are seeking MS Center patients and friends to help us welcome the riders, including Swedish patient,  Diane Mattens, and to thank them for their generous support.


The cyclists will be wrapping up their 4,295 mile Northern Tier bike ride that began on May 28 in Bar Harbor, Maine. The ride was coordinated by Bike the US for MS, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that organizes cross-country bike trips that raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis research and treatment. The MS Center at Swedish was selected as one of three MS centers in the nation to receive a 2013 grant from the group, which also made a $50,000 donation to the MS Center at Swedish following their Northern Tier bike ride in 2012.


Don Fraser founded Bike the US for MS in 2007, in honor of his mother, who has been living with MS for most for her life. Since the organization's founding, Don and his colleagues have rallied more than 200 riders to participate in three annual bike rides. Riders commit to raise $1 per mile (the 2012 rides averaged 3,300 miles), and commit to volunteer for projects in the homes of people living with MS throughout the course of the ride. In just a few years, the riders' impact has been substantial: Bike the US for MS has raised more than $600,000, in addition to completing more than 50 service projects.


Please join us outside of the main entrance to the Swedish Cherry Hill Campus on 17th & Jefferson at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 4 to welcome the riders as they finish the final leg of their Northern Tier ride, and consider making a sign to help celebrate their finish. Following the cyclists' arrival, we will gather inside the MS Center for a brief reception and check presentation.


More information:

MSCenterResearchMS Center Research


Phase III trial for new oral medication 

The MS Center is conducting a  Phase III trial of a new oral medication to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS).

The investigational medication, called Laquinimod, has been show to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) in mice and rats, and to have a therapeutic effect in various experimental autoimmune models, including animal models of MS.


During the last two decades, treatments aimed at controlling the symptoms of MS have been given by injection. In 2012, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first oral medication for MS. Researchers expect that people living with MS may benefit from more options for oral treatments with favorable safety profiles.  


Laquinimod is viewed as an immunomodulator that may protect the central nervous system, which has been shown in earlier research studies by its ability to reduce spinal cord demyelination and damage to axons in animal models, as well as expression of proteins which promote the survival, growth and function of neurons.  


Learn more about research and clinical trials at the Swedish MS Center, or call an MS Center research coordinator at 206-320-2200. 

nutritionNutrition for Multiple Sclerosis:  

MS Center Registered Dietician begins new blog series


Registered dietician  Jessica Bratrude provides nutrition consultation at the Swedish MS Center. Now, she shares nutrition tips in a new series on the MS Center Blog. Check back regularly to read tips for cooking with fatigue, recipes and more.



Tips for planning and preparing
healthy meals
Tips to make food shopping and cooking more efficient and manageable so that a healthy diet can fit into your lifestyle.
Read more. 




Stocking a fatigue-fighting pantry for multiple sclerosis  
A little planning can make preparing healthy, fatigue-fighting meals possible. Here are some nutritious, easily prepared food ideas to consider to putting on your shopping list
Read more. 



Organizing an efficient kitchen 
Your meal plan is set and your pantry is stocked with nutritious, easily-prepared foods. Here are a few helpful kitchen gadgets and some minor adjustments that can make cooking more efficient and feel like less of a chore.
Read more.

artMS Center News 



Darren Baker is a former engineer who found art after his MS diagnosis in the late 90s. Art has taught him and his daughter, Sarah, powerful lessons about perfection. Together, they share their experiences and talk about the annual Art Show.
Watch the video.

Sheila Stotland has been an artist of many mediums. MS limits her mobility, but art is an outlet. Sheila paints and sculpts by directing the hands of her friends. Art allows her to experiences "a tremendous amount of freedom."
Watch the video.

petsMultiple Sclerosis Center welcomes
new pet therapy pup

We are very excited to welcome the newest volunteers for the Leo Project to the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center: Peggy and her chocolate lab Gracie. Peggy and Gracie will be at the MS Center on Mondays from 9:00-11:00 a.m. 


MSEventsMS Center Programs & Events







MS Roadshow - Seattle

Date: Saturday, September 21

Location: Swedish Cherry Hill Campus

Cost: Free. 

The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center will present an educational workshop in Seattle this summer.



--Registration Required--


Beginner's Gentle Yoga

Every Tuesday, Aug. 13-Sept. 17 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Every Thursday, Aug. 15 - Sept. 19 | 12 -1:30 p.m.

Free, open to non-Swedish patients and caregivers/partners.

Call 206-386-2502 or Register Online.  


Chair Aerobics for MS 

**  Resumes Wednesdays in September ** 

Aerobic activity for those who prefer seated exercise.

Free. Drop-ins welcome.

Call 206-320-2200 for more information. 




Patient Exercise Hours

Mondays, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Fridays, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.

A free, convenient and safe place to work out with MS. Established patients only. Call 206-320-2200.


Coping Skills Group

Thursdays, 8 consecutive weeks | MS Center

Led by MS psychologist Michelle Toshima, Ph.D., and Bobbie Severson, ARNP.
Call Mike Taylor: (206) 320-8223.

Care Partner Support Group

3rd Tuesday of every month, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

For spouses and caregivers of people living with multiple sclerosis.




2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month, 6:30-8 p.m.

For people in the lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender community. Partners and care providers are also welcome.



MS Club Cherry Hill (Self-Help)

3rd Friday of every month, 1-3 p.m.

Monthly talks by regional experts on topics of interest to people with MS.



Young Adults with MS

3rd Thursday of every month, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A support and activity group for young adults living with multiple sclerosis. Spouses/significant others welcome.