Category Archives: MS Treatments

MS and Reducing Summer Car Heat

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

We all know that summer heat and humidity are absolutely brutal on people with multiple sclerosis. And escaping it is almost impossible to do. But one area where everyone, ms or not dreads is getting into a car that has been sunbathing for a few hours and the internal temperature is usually somewhere in the 120 degree range.

There is a somewhat easy choice to reduce some of that direct sunlight. You’ve probably already seen them and perhaps laughed at some of the more goofy ones. If you’ve ever wondered if those car screens in the front window, and occasionally in the back as well, work? They do, and are very effective in keeping your car from becoming a roaster oven.

You can buy these screens at Walmart and other similar stores. And also keep your windows cracked open just enough to let any heat that may build up to escape. You can also invest in solar powered window fans that run off the power of the sun while your not in the car keeping the air moving so the heat moves out any cracked windows.

Try to stay cool and have a great summer everybody!

Bill Walker

Do you know a literary agent or book publisher that would be willing to read my book? If so please email me and let me know. 

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MS Turmeric and Inflammation

A picture of me.

That would be me!

     Turmeric is derived from the spice curry used extensively in India. It’s health benefits range from helping to treat constipation to also being a huge anti-inflammatory agent. I personally had read so many great things about turmeric , including that some people believed it have something to do with India’s very small incidence of Multiple Sclerosis, that I just had to give it a try. 

     That was over a year ago and unfortunately I did not experience the health benefits that I had hoped to achieve. I am certainly not saying that it doesn’t provide benefits to other people but it doesn’t seem to do much for me except cost money. It may come down to each persons own body chemistry being a factor in whether turmeric has a positive effect or not. I know that researchers are discovering that many cancer drugs can work wonders for some people and have absolutely little if any effect for others.

     In closing, if it works for you, by all means keep using it as long as your neurologist and general practitioner are aware of you using it as many supplements like turmeric can have undesirable effects when used with other prescribed drugs!   

by

Bill Walker

 

PS. I am still in search of a literary agent/publisher for my book if anyone can help by putting in a good word for me!

MS and Pain Relief Using Lidocaine Creams

    Small bottle aspercreme lotion! Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that is often accompanied by varying amounts of pain both muscle, through inactivity, and more often nerve pain because that is the nature of this awful disease. I’ve used all kinds of pain relief medications such as pills that often leave you with brain fog as well as having to deal with a whole host of other unsavory side effects including addiction and even death. I’ve also tried several kinds of pain lotions that do in fact seem to help a little but they are messy and difficult to apply to the point where even what relief they do provide seems almost not worth the bother.

     Recently though I saw a commercial for a new aspercreme rub with 4% lidocaine added for additional pain relief beyond its other active ingredients. I was intrigued enough to go out and spend eight dollars on a 2.7 oz bottle to see if it actually worked? And surprise, surprise, it worked like a charm. I have not found any product, pill or otherwise, that reduced my pain in a matter of minutes like this product does.

     At times I suffer from extreme lower back pain as well as sciatic nerve pain in the upper portions of both my legs and I almost can’t believe the amount of relief I get after just a few minutes from the time of application of this lotion. I’m sure that there are probably some side effects of over use of these products but I’m also pretty certain that they can’t be any worse then what most doctors prescribe for pain when it comes to MS.

     Give it a try. If it doesn’t help, all you lose is a few dollars. Let me know if you try this and what your thoughts are!

 

Bill Walker

MS and Viagra as a Treatment

   

A picture of me.

That would be me!

     I was reading another site and was stunned to read that researchers are studying Viagra as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. The following is what I found in a internet search and I’m still a bit surprised since this is the first I’ve heard of it.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona researchers have discovered that Viagra®  (sildenafil) drastically reduces multiple sclerosis symptoms in animal models with the disease. The research, published in Acta Neuropathologica, demonstrates that a practically complete recovery occurs in 50% of the animals after eight days of treatment. Researchers are confident that clinical trials soon will be carried out in patients given that the drug is well tolerated and has been used to treat sexual dysfunction in some multiple sclerosis patients.

Multiple sclerosis is the most common chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and one of the main causes of disability among young adults. The disease is caused by the presence of multiple focuses of demyelination (loss of myelin sheaths around the axons, affecting the ability of neurons to communicate) and neurodegeneration in different areas of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for the disease, although some drugs have proven effective in fighting symptoms and preventing it from progressing.

A research team from the UAB Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine directed by Dr Agustina García, in collaboration with the research team directed by Dr Juan Hidalgo from the UAB Institute of Neurosciences, has studied the effects of a treatment using sildenafil, sold as Viagra®, in an animal model of multiple sclerosis known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Researchers demonstrated that a daily treatment with sildenafil after disease onset quickly reduced clinical signs, with a practically complete recovery in 50% of the cases after eight days of treatment. Scientists observed how the drug reduced the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the white matter of the spinal cord, thus reducing damage to the nerve cell’s axon and facilitating myelin repair.

Sidenafil, together with tadalafil (Cialis®) and vardenafil (Levitra®), form part of a group of vasodilator drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Recent studies in animal models of central nervous system pathologies already pointed to the fact that in addition to vasodilation, these drugs could contain other neuroprotective actions and suggest their usefulness as possible treatments of both acute (cerebrovascular stroke) and chronic (Alzheimer’s) neuropathologies.  Research published in 2010 in theJournal of Neurochemistry by the same research group from UAB demonstrated that one of these inhibitors reduced neuroinflammation and neuronal damage in animal models of traumatic brain injury.

MS and a Letter From A Reader

Almost the top of Mount Baker

At nearly the top of Mount Baker, WA.

Hi Bill,

Love reading your blog.  I wanted to reach out to you to see if you know about the latest treatment option for Upper Limb Spasticity (ULS)  a side effect many people who suffer from MS deal with.

 

ULS can occur weeks, months or years after being diagnosed with MS, and can make it challenging to do day-to-day activities, like getting dressed or putting on deodorant.  People with upper limb spasticity may have rotated shoulders, flexed elbows, wrists, and clenched fists. Due to upper limb spasticity, arms become tight and are forced up against the body and uncontrollable muscle movements or spasms occur at inopportune moments. The muscles in the elbow, wrist and fingers are uncomfortably tight and stiff.

Now, there’s a new treatment option for Adult Upper Limb Spasticity.  Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) was recently approved by the FDA for use in adult patients suffering from ULS.  In clinical studies, treatment with Xeomin for adult ULS resulted in statistically significant clinical improvements in muscle tone, with a safety profile similar to that observed for other Xeomin indications.

We’d love to connect you with a national or local medical expert who can explain the impact of ULS in more detail and how Xeomin works in adult ULS.

Best,

Katherine

Multiple Sclerosis Hypertension and Now Pre-Diabetic

    Cow Painting Ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2000 my blood pressure has slowly crept up to a point where it was really starting to bother both myself and my family doctor. At first I was prescribed low doses of something that I don’t recall the name of but it made me cough to the point where it had to be changed to Losartan Potassium. And at first this seemed to bring my BP down to a more reasonable level. But it didn’t take long until the dose had to be doubled to 50mg and then doubled again to a 100mg which is where I’m at now and it still doesn’t seem to be enough to lower my blood pressure down to a safer level.

     I think my doctor might also be starting to get concerned with this because he ordered a complete blood work up to see if something else may be causing my higher pressure levels. However as the results are now back they are all, for the post part, in the normal range with one exception. My glucose levels were high enough for my doctor to announce that I am now pretty much pre-diabetic.

     In one respect this does not come as to much of a shock to me as just about everyone on both sides of my family are also either diabetic or like me, at some early stage of becoming diabetic. But in another respect I remember reading early on after my MS diagnosis that people who became diabetic rarely developed multiple sclerosis and vice versus as well. Another myth bites the dust.

     There is a bright side to this diagnosis that if I watch my weight and my diet I should never develop full blown diabetes. Unfortunately this still doesn’t explain the hypertension. His guess is a combination of stress related factors along with the fact that I really don’t get enough exercise being at least part of the problem. And he stated that higher BP is somewhat common for people with MS. I do try and exercise as much as I can but it tires me out at a pretty fast rate and I live in a place where it rains a lot which also makes getting out more of a problem. And telling me that I am now one step closer to being diabetic certainly doesn’t help reduce any stress that I may be experiencing.

     I have another appointment in a couple of weeks so I won’t know until then whether we are going to increase my current BP drug or try something new. Which means for now, the mystery continues!

 

Bill Walker

MS and Simple Memory Boosting Ideas

     Mailbox Numbers Unfortunately MS robs many of us of our physical ability to stay active and keep a more normal blood flow to the brain which in turn affects our ability to remember the simplest of things sometimes. One way of stimulating all of those little nerve bundles up in our heads is by reading and writing which many of us do now on a daily basis even if it was something that we didn’t enjoy all that much pre-multiple sclerosis.

     However there are a couple of other little tricks that forces your brain to reset its ability to recall information on a daily basis. But first, here’s a very short but amusing story that gets us started.

     The other day I asked my twenty three year old Niece how many passwords she had because of all the social media and other things that her generation has to keep abreast of on any given day? Her answer certainly surprised me, “Two.” And I would imagine that is probably the same answer that you would get from almost any Millennial. And now, you too, know their secret of living in a password protected world.

     In my case I have at least ten that I can think of off the top of my head and it’s not just because I am old and terrified of someone hacking my personal information. I have them all because it forces me to recall them each to the appropriate site that I am visiting or using at that particular moment. Oh yes, I have my own version of a little black book that I can pull out and search if the brain fog is just to thick to get through, but I have found that by doing this those moments of staring at a blank screen with a blank mind have been fewer and fewer as the years have passed.

     And I have another mind game I play when I’m either riding or driving in my car if I want to wake my brain up from a multiple sclerosis haze. Every time I pass a set of numbers like on a mailbox I’ll add them up until I get the smallest domination. For instance: 7324 would be 7+3+2+4 which would equal 16 and then 1+6 would equal 7. You can also do it with subtraction 7-3-2-4 would equal negative 2. And if you get really bored of that you can also multiply instead 7x3x2x4 would equal 168 and then you could also add and/or subtract from that point as well.

     The whole idea is to keep your mind active and refuse to let MS clog the pathways of your brain. And I’ve become so used to doing this that I can do it easily even with the radio is on while also paying attention to the road around me while I’m driving. However, I don’t do it if I have a passenger.

     And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has these little brain teasers to keep a clear and healthy mind, what are some of your ways of keeping all of the neurons firing in the proper order?

 

Bill Walker