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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2019

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NDIS update | 2019 camps | Health education and peer support groups | Fundraising news

Results: MS treatment

Results: MS treatment should not be delayed until a woman has completed her family and doctors should keep in mind the possibility of pregnancy when prescribing treatment to all women with MS of childbearing age. Relapse rates naturally fall during pregnancy, and so many women with MS choose to stop MS medications once they are pregnant, however, first line injectable treatments (interferon betas and glatiramer acetate) can be continued throughout pregnancy. It is recommended that other types of treatments are stopped where possible. For women with very active MS, treatment throughout pregnancy should be considered. Corticosteroids, a standard treatment for relapse, can be given during pregnancy and while breastfeeding to women who experience relapses. Conclusion: Women with MS are no more likely to have high risk pregnancies than other women, and unless there are other reasons, MS should not limit the birthing options or management of delivery. From MSIF Progressive MS International Collaborative Networks. Multi-year grants investing significant amounts of funds, are now supporting networks of researchers working together to accelerate understanding and treatments for progressive MS. This information has been sourced from Health Direct, a Government initiative, visit https://www.healthdirect. gov.au/colds-and-flu-treatments. While it can happen any time, it's more common to catch the flu, or experience flu-like symptoms, in the colder months of the year (April to October). Six ways to fight the flu: • Get an annual flu vaccination to be protected. It reduces the chances of both catching and transmitting the flu. This is especially important for those at risk of complications arising from influenza and those in close contact with atrisk people. See your GP or local pharmacy for advice. • Wash your hands; good hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of colds and flu. • Cover your coughs and sneezes; this prevents the spread of infected droplets to others and surfaces. • Bin your tissues; throw disposable tissues in the bin after use. These networks are focusing on: • Drug discovery programs that identify and validate molecular and cellular targets, and screen and characterise potential drug candidates which may be either repurposed or first-in-human drugs • The discovery, advancement and validation of new or existing biological or imaging biomarkers • Proof-of-concept trials and trial designs, including, but not limited to trials in remyelination, neuroprotection, enhanced plasticity. The lead researchers for the networks are: • Douglas Arnold, M.D., McGill University (Canada) in collaboration with 16 investigators from The Netherlands, U.K., U.S., and Switzerland • Gianvito Martino, M.D., Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Hospital Milan (Italy) in collaboration with 13 Investigators from Italy, France, Germany, Europe, Canada and the U.S • Francisco Quintana, Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital (U.S) in collaboration with 8 Investigators from the U.S., Canada, Israel and Sanofi Genzyme. MSWA has allocated 0,000 in 2017/18 and 2018/19 to the Progressive MS Alliance PROTECT AGAINST THE FLU THIS YEAR SUE SHAPLAND RN, BN, Cert MS Nursing, MSCN • Avoid sharing; don’t share cups, plates, cutlery or towels with others if possible. • Self-care at home; you can treat the symptoms of a mild cold or flu yourself. Most people will get better within 7-10 days without any treatment. You can relieve symptoms by getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water and nonalcoholic drinks, keeping warm, eating a healthy diet and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke. Your pharmacist can assist with over the counter treatments if necessary. • If you live alone let someone know you aren’t feeling well so they can keep an eye on you. • See your doctor if you are unwell and experiencing high temperatures, headache, breathing difficulties or a rash, or if you are worried at all. You can call Health Direct 24/7 for free advice or to speak to a registered nurse, call health direct on 1800 022 222. MSWA PROVIDES GRANT OF 0,000 FOR RESEARCH INTO MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE A 0,000 grant from MSWA will support research into proteins linked to the progression of motor neurone disease (MND) as well as a ground-breaking national study into the needs of carers and families of people experiencing end-of-life care and bereavement. The grant is MSWA’s first funding allocation to research into MND (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS). MSWA CEO Marcus Stafford AM said the decision to support MND research reflected the expanded charter of MSWA as an organisation that helps people living not only with MS, but all neurological conditions. “As Australia’s largest contributor of funding for MS research, we began to diversify our research investment program last year when we supported an investigation into stroke,” said Mr Stafford. “This year we continue to broaden our scope with this grant to the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia.” Dr Sarah Rea of The University of Western Australia will lead a study into the interactions between p62 and TDP-43, which aggregate in the cell body in most patients with MND. It is hoped the study will help identify a target for future research into potential therapeutics for this neurological condition. Professor Samar Aoun of La Trobe University in Victoria will lead the other MSWA-supported research project, a national survey to help better understand the needs of family members who care for people with MND. The results will provide a foundation for developing more targeted supports and resources to help families manage decision-making and grief. Janet Nash, Executive Officer of the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute, said donations received each year were never enough to support all of the excellent funding applications that warranted funding. “MSWA’s offer of two grants of 0,000 each will enable two additional researchers to lead their teams toward discovery and improved care in 2019,” said Ms Nash. “Both MND and multiple sclerosis are neurodegenerative conditions. Outcomes from research in one disease may well translate to benefit for the other – and maybe more neurodegenerative conditions as well.” MSWA’s grant to MNDRIA is part of its record million investment in research funding for neurological conditions for 2018-19. “Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, MSWA is in a position to broaden our investment in research and support scientific investigations into other neurological conditions, such as MND and stroke,” said Mr Stafford. “While MSWA strives on a daily basis to improve the lives of people living with neurological conditions, we believe that medical research provides hope to the people we support and their families.” 10 | MSWA BULLETIN AUTUMN 2019 MSWA BULLETIN AUTUMN 2019 | 11