Thursday, 30 April 2015

Congratulations to Tracy and Paul!

The Watkins April Marathon Challenge for BMSTC is complete! Following Tracy’s PB at the Brighton Marathon 2 weeks ago, her husband Paul ran the London Marathon on Sunday, smashing 24 mins off his previous time to complete the 26.2 miles in 5.11.13! Here is a photo of them both from the finish with Paul proudly displaying his medal.

A final word from Team Watkins:

"A massive thank you to everyone at BMSTC for your amazing support, encouragement & sponsorship as we prepared for & completed our challenge.  It has been a privilege to represent the Centre, especially as we know that the money raised will be well spent on providing the support & therapies that are a lifeline to so many.  We are hoping to raise at least £3,000 & it’s not too late to sponsor us as our page will remain open for a little while longer at

Thanks again Paul & Tracy xx"

Go West for MS Challenge

50 miles done! Thank you to everyone who is taking part in the Go West for MS challenge, the response has been amazing!

Don’t forget if you raise £50 or more you will be entered into a draw to win the chance to have a Motomed bike in your home for 3 months! Thank you to our friends at Medimotion for their generous support.

To enter simply return your sponsorship to BMSTC by World MS Day, Wednesday 27th May and you will be entered in the draw....

The winner will be announced at the AGM on 4th June.

Good luck and happy peddling!

BMSTC Summer Fayre 30th May 2015

The BMSTC Summer Fayre, officially opened by Sangeeta Bhabra, will be held on Saturday 30th May, 1pm - 3.30pm.

 The Link Group who organise the event have requested donations of new items for tombola prizes such as chocolates, wine, biscuits etc.

 Please bring items to the Centre no earlier than Tuesday 26th May. Many thanks.

MS Awareness Week: 7 Things People With Multiple Sclerosis Want You To Know

woman sitting sunset


There are currently around 100,000 people with multiple sclerosis in the UK.
With this in mind, it's perhaps surprising how little the majority of people know about the disease.

So, to co-inside with MS Awareness Week, here are seven things people with MS want you to know:  Read on.

£2 million for MS research in Edinburgh

Source MS Society:
We’re investing over £2 million in the Edinburgh Centre for MS Research, so that they can continue their world-class research for a further five years.

We set up the Edinburgh Centre (formerly known as the Edinburgh Centre for Translational Research) in 2007 with the generous support of the Volant Trust. The overall aim was to find effective treatments for people with MS.  Read on.

Don't forget to vote for BMSTC at John Lewis the next time you are in Reading

Next time you are shopping in Reading and need a break, don't forget to visit our friends at the Place to Eat in John Lewis. Use the café and receive a token to vote for one of the charities including Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre! Help us win a share of £3,000.  Only a few days left!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Are you a Royal Bank of Scotland customer?

Are you a Royal Bank of Scotland customer? The Reading branch (on Station Road) is looking for a new local charity to support and it may be Berkshire MS Therapy Centre! Go in and visit the branch and use your marble to vote for BMSTC but be quick. You only have until 30th April to cast your vote.

BMSTC AGM and celebration - 4th June 3 - 4.30pm

The BMSTC AGM will be held on Thursday 4th June from 3.00pm - 4.30pm.

Come and find out what has been happening at the Centre and help to celebrate the refurbishment with drinks, canapés and friends after the meeting.

 Please RSVP to if you would like to attend.

Election 2015: What are the parties pledging?

Source MS Society:

With the general election just weeks away, most of the larger political parties have now published their manifestos. But what are they promising on some of the key issues for people affected by MS?

We look at how the Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UK Independence Party manifestos stack up on health, social care and welfare.  Read on

Two potential myelin repair treatments identified

Source MS Society:

A new early stage study has identified two existing drugs that could have the potential to be developed into myelin repair therapies for people with MS.

Researchers in Ohio screened the US National Institute of Health's drug 'library' for compounds that could have the potential to stimulate stem cells already in the brain to replace lost myelin. They then tested them in laboratory models of MS.  Read on. 

Phenytoin has neuroprotective effect suggests study

Source MS Trust:

Research suggests that phenytoin, a drug used to treat seizures, may protect nerves from MS.

The phase II study at University College London involved 86 people with optic neuritis - a symptom associated with MS in which the covering of the optic nerve is damaged. Participants took either phenytoin or placebo for three months. Researchers measured the width of the retina - the layer of nerves at the back of the eyeball - at the start of the trial and after six months. Thinning of the retina is known to indicate damage to nerves elsewhere in the brain and spinal cord.  Read on. 

Only 209 Miles to go - Go West for MS

Going West for MS, Go Jenny and Sylvia - the new sponsored static bike ride for BMSTC to celebrate the new gym.

Saturday 9th May 2015.

Join our team as we cycle the distance from BMSTC to the Merlin MS Centre in Cornwall (230 miles) without ever leaving the gym!  Cycle for up to 20 minutes using your legs or arms and help us get there!

Book your time with Henriette or Sam for the day or let us know if you plan to do it in your normal sessions.

Athlete's foot drug may be MS therapy

Source BBC:

Two common drugs - one used for treating athlete's foot and another for alleviating eczema - may be useful therapies for multiple sclerosis, scientists believe.
In early animal studies, the medicines repaired some of the cell damage and paralysis seen in MS.  Read on.

Spotless Oven Cleaning love the jobs you hate!

Spotless Oven Cleaning Logo
One of our MS Members, Andrew Baker, has launched a new oven cleaning service and will be offering a discount to disabled and elderly customers. Good luck Andrew!  For more click here. 

Wishing all of our London Marathon runners good luck for Sunday

On Sunday Ruth, Paul, Sharon, James, Jayne and Simon will be running the London Marathon for Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. They have spent months training and so far have raised over £6,000!

If you are in London on Sunday or watching the BBC from the comfort of your own front room please look out for them in their white BMSTC vests.

Go Team BMSTC!

London Marathon this Sunday!

Please show your support to our very own dynamic duo raising money for BMSTC!

Our Tracy ran a personal best in the Brighton Marathon a couple of weeks ago and this weekend her husband will be running the London Marathon!

Please show your support by sponsoring them click here. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Refub update 7 - Please note full closure of Centre 13th - 15th May 2015

We are now reaching the final stages of our refurbishment!

The Utility room and adjacent 2 WC's will start to be stripped out next week and replaced in the next 2 weeks.   After this work has been completed the final stage will be to replace the floor in the foyer, reception, office and oxygen therapy room.  We will need to move all of the furniture out of these areas into the physio gym whilst this work is undertaken.

Please note the following important information:

  • Monday 11th May - open as usual
  • Tuesday 12th May - open as usual however physio will be cancelled in the afternoon as we move the furniture into the gym.
  • Wednesday 13th May to Friday 15th May - Full Closure.
  • Saturday 16th May Oxygen Therapy will go ahead although furniture will be displaced!
  • Monday 18th May - Open as usual except physio will be cancelled in the morning as we reinstate the furniture, it will be chaos!   Physio will resume in the afternoon.
It will be disruptive in the days leading up to and after the closure.  We will try to get back to some kind of normality as soon as we can.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience, but at long last there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Political parties quizzed on welfare and disability election promises

Source MS Society:

On 14 April, we joined up with the four other charities that make up the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) to hear how five of the political parties plan to support the 11 million disabled people in the UK if they are elected to government in May.  Read on. 

Encouraging signs of myelin repair in optic neuritis drug trial

Source MS Trust:

In a clinical trial of anti-LINGO-1, people with optic neuritis who took the new drug had improved nerve signals between the eye and the brain.

A phase II clinical trial called RENEW tested a drug called BIIB033, which is anti-LINGO-1 agent, against placebo in 82 people with acute optic neuritis. Participants received a total of six intravenous infusions of the drug or placebo every four weeks and were followed up for a total of 32 weeks. Although the participants had not been diagnosed with MS, about half of people with optic neuritis go on to develop MS.  Read on. 

Listen again to Oxfords ground-breaking trial aiming to find a cure for MS

Howard Bentham of BBC Radio Oxford finds out about Oxford's ground-breaking trial aiming to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.  Listen again here. 

Thinking about a holiday?

Why not check out Makin’ Tracks who offer inspirational tours in Europe for wheelchair users with a real appetite for travel.

"We're a small family company, and that's exactly how we want to stay. Every tour is personally planned, escorted, & driven by ourselves, and since we've been doing this on & off for most of the last 30 years, we have more than a fair idea how to create a smooth & rewarding tour for our clients."

Visit their website here. 

Our Tracy has done it!

BMSTC Membership Officer Tracy completed her 2nd Marathon in aid of the Centre in on Sunday 12th April in Brighton. Her husband Paul takes up the challenge later this month on 26th April to run the London Marathon for us.  It’s not too late to show your support for this 52.4 mile challenge at:

A word from Tracy:
"Thanks so much to everyone for your support, encouragement & sponsorship for our challenge so far.  I was really pleased to record a personal best time at Brighton of 5.50.28, beating London 2013 by over 3 mins.  The course was hot, hilly & windy in places but the crowd was amazing & I had a great team with me to dispense water, Lucozade, jelly babies & bananas at various points.  I’m now looking forward to cheering Paul on at London in just over a week & then our challenge will be complete! I have said never again but so did Steve Redgrave & we all know what happened there!"

Do you want to be part of something special?

Join the team taking part in Go West For MS, the sponsored static bike challenge on Saturday 9th May – can you help us cycle 230 miles, the equivalent of going to the Merlin MS Centre in Cornwall? We already have over 20 cyclists taking part and we need you to join us! If you can't join us on the Saturday, don't worry - come and talk to us about doing it in your physio sessions.
Speak to Henrietta or Sam to sign up on 0118 901 6000!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The final countdown for our Tracy and Paul!

The final countdown!


Just over a week now until Tracy our Membership Officer takes to the promenade in Brighton to run her second Marathon for BMSTC on April 12th. Then 2 weeks later on April 26th, her husband Paul takes up the baton in the London Marathon.   If you would like to support them in their joint April Marathon Challenge, please visit their fundraising page


or sponsor them over the desk at BMSTC.


The final word from Tracy:  ‘Thanks so much to all those who have already sponsored us – such great support really encourages us to keep going with our training and not eat too many Easter eggs!  It was a real privilege to run the London Marathon for the Centre in 2013 & this year in Brighton will be the same! I will be trying to improve my time slightly if I can & will be wearing my BMSTC vest & signature pink tutu with pride! Then I will get into cheering mode to support Paul at London as he did for me 2 years ago. We will let you know how we get on! Happy Easter from Team Watkins x

MS drug 'may already be out there'

Source BBC:

Depression and heart-disease drugs are to be tested in a trial to find treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) from existing medicines.
There are currently no treatments in the secondary progressive stage of the debilitating disease.
More than 400 people will take part in the trial at University College London and the University of Edinburgh.  The BBC's Health Editor Hugh Pym reports.

Positive interim results from major UK study on MS drugs

Source MS Trust:

Results of the analysis of the 6 year data of the Department of Health (DH) MS Risk-sharing Scheme (RSS), published in the Lancet Neurology today, show that the disease modifying drugs Avonex, Betaferon, Copaxone and Rebif are cost effective and are clinically effective in reducing the progression of the disease in people with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS).  Read on.

Join us for the first ever BMSTC Sponsored Static Bike Ride, Go West for MS on Saturday 9th May

We are asking everyone to help us cycle the equivalent of going from BMSTC to our friends at the Merlin MS Centre – a whopping 230 miles away! Don’t worry we are not asking you to cover the entire distance but by cycling for up to 20 minutes you can help us get there. You can use your legs or your arms and every penny raised will make a huge difference.

Can’t make Saturday 9th May? Don’t worry you can do it in your normal physio session on a date that suits you.

Talk to Henriette or Sam to book your place on 0118 901 9000!

Boars Bridge Festival 19th - 21st June 2015 - tickets now available

Gren Bartley BandThis year's Boars Bridge Festival will be held over the weekend of the 19th - 21st June in the grounds of the lovely Boars Bridge House near Tadley in Hampshire.

There will be many of the familiar faces and we are delighted to welcome some new acts including a new headliner - The Gren Bartely Band.   For more information about the festival and tickets click here.

£1.1m study to reduce cognitive problems in people with MS

Source EurekAlert:

Experts in Nottingham are leading a major new study into how people with multiple sclerosis (MS) could overcome problems with attention and memory associated to their condition.
The Cognitive Rehabilitation for Attention and Memory in people with Multiple Sclerosis (CRAMMS) trial will evaluate the effectiveness of new strategies to improve and compensate for these difficulties and aims to improve the quality of life for the patient.  Read on.

Inspired by the Reading Half Marathon and Green Park Challenge?

Are you inspired by the Reading Half Marathon and Green Park Challenge? BMSTC have some guaranteed entries in Run24 this June and entries in the 2016 London Marathon. Contact Sam on 0118 901 6000 or email for more details and to book your place now!