Friday, 21 October 2011

New Coalition to Address the Needs of People with Multiple Sclerosis in the Workplace

  • Almost half of people with multiple sclerosis leave the workplace within three years of being diagnosed1
  • Merck Serono leads the way in partnering with Microsoft, European Federation of Neurological Associations and Employers’ Forum on Disability to form the ms&work coalition
Today, business and health leaders join forces to announce the formation of the ms&work coalition, the first group of its kind to address the needs of people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the workplace across Europe. The coalition, an alliance of Merck Serono; a leading healthcare company, Microsoft Corp, Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD) and the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) was announced at the 5th Joint Triennial Congress of ECTRIMS and ACTRIMS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.   For more click here.

Oral BG-12 (Dimethyl Fumarate) Significantly Reduced Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Relapses and Disability Progression in Define Phase 3 Clinical Trial

 Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) announced positive data from the Phase 3 DEFINE clinical trial of oral BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Results showed that 240 mg of BG-12, administered either twice a day (BID) or three times a day (TID), significantly reduced the proportion of patients who relapsed by 49 percent and 50 percent, respectively, at two years compared with placebo.  For more click here.

Do you know anyone who would like to join the MS Centre's Reading Half Marathon running team for the 2012

Do you know anyone who would like to join the MS Centre's Reading Half Marathon running team for the 2012 event taking place on April 1st, no, it's not a joke!

We have Gold Bond places available for those who want to raise funds for the Centre at Reading's highest profile event. Please call Jackie at the Centre for more information or email

Gilly raises £2500 for BMSTC walking the Inca Trail!

Congratulations to Gilly Cannon who raised £2,500 for the Centre when he walkwed the Inca Trail last month.  Thanks a million Gilly! :0)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Researchers observed both remyelination indicative of repair and a drastic reduction of demyelination and axonal loss in mice treated with COPAXONE(R).

(NASDAQ: TEVA) today announced preclinical data demonstrating reparative and neuroprotective effects of treatment with COPAXONE(R) (glatiramer acetate injection) in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) models. In the study, researchers compared mice treated with COPAXONE(R) versus non-treated mice in relapsing-remitting and chronic multiple sclerosis (MS) disease models.  Read more here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

MS respite care centres set to close

Source The MS Society:

The MS Society regrets to announce that Brambles Respite Care Centre in Horley, Surrey, and Helen Ley Care Centre in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, are both set to close within the next few months.  Read more here.

Come and join in this consultation workshop on Long Term Neurological Conditions

Within Berkshire West PCT area we are undertaking a Quality Neurology Assessment with the help of the Neurological Commissioning Support Group.  This will give a view of the current picture of services compared to recommendations in the National Service Framework and also enable effective planning for future service design.  We have a workshop for Clinicians and Therapists and are also holding one for Service Users and Carers.  

The Service Users / Carer Workshop is for anyone who is affected by any Long Term Neurological Condition. 


MS Therapy Centre, Bradbury House, 23a August End, Brock, Gardens, Reading, RG30 2JP
Thursday 3rd November 2011  

5pm Arrival with Sandwiches & Cake

5.30pm Start

7.30pm latest finish for the workshop

7.30 - 8.15pm opportunity to network with other Service Users / Carers or have an individual chat with the NCS

Friday 4th November 2011

9.30am             Arrival, coffee and biscuits

10am                start of workshop

12 noon             Latest finish for the workshop

12-12.30            Opportunity to network with other Service Users / Carers or to have an individual chat with the NCS

Anyone wishing to attend does need to register and indicate if you will be accompanied by a carer – for catering. or 07795 044409 

Thank you for your assistance.

Best wishes


Helene Raynsford

Locality Public Health Lead - Wokingham / Older People         07795 044409

Public Health, NHS Berkshire West, 57-59 Bath Road, Reading, RG30 2BA  ÉTel: 0118 982 2757 / 07795 044409  ÊFax: 0118 982 2914

Christmas Fayre 19th November - Letter to you from our Link Group

Hello Everyone

Re: CHRISTMAS FAYRE  - 19 November 2011,  1 - 3.30pm

Once again we are planning the Christmas Fayre and this year local MP Alok Sharma will perform the opening ceremony. As usual we are asking for your help.  Please will you donate any of the following?
  • A prize for the raffle or tombola.  (Any new, unused, items would be very welcome.)
  • Soft Toys which can be used as prizes.   
  • Wine for prizes in the Wine Raffle
  • Cakes to serve with tea and coffee on the day and for people to buy and take home.

There is a labelled plastic dustbin in the reception area at the Centre into which donated items can be placed.  Wine should be given direct to Trish Wright or handed to Tracy or Jackie who will pass it on to her. Cakes should be brought along on the day, or a day or two before.

Other ways you can help

Are you or any of your family and friends available to help on the day?  We need able-bodied people to help set up the tables from 9 am to 11 am.  Also help is needed at the end of the day (dismantling tables and clearing up) from about 3pm to 5pm. If you or anyone you know could help with this (or in any other way) there is a volunteers' form at the Centre for you to complete or please phone the Centre.

Please come along on the day with your friends and family.  You will find   lots of stalls with all sorts of things to buy and delicious cakes to eat in or take away. Tea, coffee and cold drinks will also be available and of course Santa will be there in his grotto.

Many thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Fayre.

Sue Smith
BMSTC Members' Link Group

Monday, 17 October 2011


Don't forget you can join us over on Facebook!  Visit our page and click "like" to receive our posts in your Facebook Newsfeed :0)

Melbourne Brain Centre opens in Parkville with 700 research staff


THE world's fifth largest brain research centre has opened in Victoria.
The $225 million Melbourne Brain Centre in Parkville will host 700 staff, who will research conditions including multiple sclerosis, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.  Read more here.

MS Society calls for Quality Standard for MS

Source MS Society:
The MS Society has called for the urgent development of a Quality Standard for MS to set a benchmark to address the variation in care received by people with MS.  Read more here.

Update on our appeal to support MS nurses

Source MS Trust:
We sent out an appeal earlier this year to raise funds towards our MS Nurse Support Programme. Thanks to everyone has who responded so far, we have raised over £35,000 and we have been putting these donations to work.  Read more here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lord Walton of Detchant asks why the UK is slow to adopt remedies for multiple sclerosis compared with its European neighbours.

Source Yahoo! News:
Multiple sclerosis is one of the commonest disabling neurological disorders, in which plaques of demyelination (degeneration of myelin sheaths of nerve fibres) develop in various parts of the brain and spinal cord. It is variable in its incidence and severity, in that some cases are relatively mild, some run a relapsing and remitting course with substantial intervals between episodes, which nevertheless lead to progressive disability, while in other patients the condition is rapidly progressive, with few if any remissions.   Read more here.

Would you like to take part in this research study?

The iPEX (Internet Patient Experiences) project is looking for people affected by MS (both patients and carers) who use the internet to read other people’s experiences or share their own to take part in telephone interviews. This is part of a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grant – Examining the role of patients’ experiences as a resource for choice and decision-making in h...ealth care. The purpose of the research is to explore how people use the internet to share their experiences and the effects this has on their lives and well being. This will contribute to the design and development of services that facilitate the sharing of experiences in health care across a range of different conditions.  For more click here.

Gowrings Mobility Stock Clearance January Sale in Newbury

Don't miss the Great Gowrings Mobility Stock Clearance Sale. Fantastic clearance bargains for three days only.

Gowrings Mobility Showroom, Newbury, Berkshire.
10am-4pm, Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th January 2012.  See more details here!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Simvastatin study improves vision in optic neuritis

Source MS Society:
A recent study suggests that simvastatin, a drug commonly used to lower cholesterol levels, may be an effective treatment for people with acute optic neuritis.   Read more here.

BMSTC is one of the official charities for the Reading Half Marathon!

BMSTC is one of the official Reading Half Marathon Charities! If you or any of your friends would like to run on our behalf on the 1st April 2012, then please email  - we have a number of free places that we can give on a first come first served basis :0)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tick Tock!

The countdown is on! Tee hee :0)

Click here!

Christmas Cards!

We have a great selection of Christmas Cards that you can buy at the Centre this year.  Alternatively you can order online and we get up to 50p for every card you buy!  You can personalise your cards with your own message, or even upload your own photo!  Visit  We are listed as Berkshire MS Therapy Centre and there is a 10% discount for cards bought before the end of October! :0)

Monday, 10 October 2011

NHS 'fails people with MS'

Source BBC Radio 4 Today:
NHS services for people with multiple have barely improved in the past five years, according to a national audit conducted by the Royal College of Physicians and the MS Trust.

Professor Derick Wade, who took part in conducting the audit, explains the findings.  Click here to listen.

Care for multiple sclerosis patients unchanged in five years

Source The Telegraph:
Care for people with multiple sclerosis has not improved over the past five years, according to a report, with many still struggling to access services that would improve their condition.  Read article here.

The Regional Driving Assessment Centre

The Regional Driving Assessment Centre can provide help with driving, or accessing vehicles as a driver or a passenger.

For more information see their website here.

NHS services for multiple sclerosis patients remain poor

Source MS Trust:
Services that people with multiple sclerosis depend upon from the NHS have shown little or no improvement in the last five years, and guidelines issued by NICE for the management of patients with MS are no closer to being met today than when they were first launched in 2003.  Read article here.

Livabiltiy are offering a 10% discount on their holidays booked between now and the end of January 2012

Livability gives disabled and disadvantaged people real choice about how they live their lives. As the UK’s largest Christian disability charity, we run a wide range...Read more here.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Blue Badge Scheme Changes

The Blue Badge Scheme is changing - Reading Borough Council are holding an information and advice event so that you can find out how these changes may affect you and find out about mobility assessments and accesible transport. 16th November, 11.00am - 1.15pm, Kennet Room, Civic Offices, Reading. Book your place 0118 927 2383 or email

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sheltered Housing Services Consultation

Reading Borough Council are holding a consulation on their sheltered housing services, including asking if it should be made available to people under retirement age. 

For more information please click here.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Anti-inflammatory drug 'reduces MS relapses'

Source  Boots WebMD:
5th October 2011 - Patients with MS who took the new generation anti-inflammatory medication natalizumab for two years had a lower risk of experiencing relapses and progression of their disability, according to a new study.  Read more here.

Analysis of CCSVI studies suggest strong association with MS

Source MS Trust:
A meta-analysis of eight studies of chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency which compared people with MS to healthy controls or those with other neurological conditions found CCSVI more common in people with MS.   For more click here.

Merck, Ono developing oral multiple sclerosis drug

Source SFGate:
Merck KGaA said its Merck Serono unit will develop and market a pill for multiple sclerosis with Japan's Ono Pharmaceutical Co. to compete with a similar product made by Novartis AG.  For more click here.

IT Can help - Free local computer assistance to disabled people

IT Can Help is a network of volunteers who are able to offer free local computer assistance to disabled people. We can diagnose and fix most computer related problems; Install and set up hardware, software, internet, email and accessibility settings.  For more click here.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Research into controversial MS treatment still too conflicting, study finds

Source MSRC:
A new study attempting to evaluate the validity of research into the prevalence of blocked veins in multiple sclerosis patients has concluded the evidence is too conflicting and inconsistent to draw any concrete conclusions.
The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, adds another layer of uncertainty to the controversy surrounding the contentious issue, which has been brewing for about two years following media reports of the possible link between blocked veins and MS.  Read more here.

Carmel Turner's Stem Cell Story

Source Pathways Magazine, MSRC:
Very interesting story about Carmel Turner which we picked up in the new Pathways magazine.   Carmel is the second person in Australia to undergo Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT). 

Scroll down in the link to read the article and the symptom imrovements that Carmel has experienced.  Read here.

Monday, 3 October 2011

MS centre faces uncertain future

Source The BBC:
A respite care centre for people with multiple sclerosis in Warwickshire is facing an uncertain future after a potential sale fell through.  Read more here.

Chief Medical Officer: Russian roulette to avoid flu jab

Source The Telegraph:
People are more likely to get the vaccinations they need before going on holiday than the winter flu jab, it is claimed, prompting Government accusations that they are “playing Russian roulette with their lives”.  Read more here.

Fampridine, a drug that can improve walking in MS, has been launched in the UK.

Source MS Trust:
Fampridine, a drug that can improve walking in MS, has been launched in the UK.
Fampridine, taken as one 10mg tablet twice daily, was granted a conditional marketing authorisation by the European Commission in July 2011 to improve walking in adult patients with MS who have walking disability (defined as scoring 4-7 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale). For more click here.