Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Sad news about our Patron Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels, left, has been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

We are all very sad to hear the news about our long standing Patron Paul Daniels. Paul and Debbie have supported BMSTC for over 18 years and we are very grateful to them both for all of their help. Our love and thoughts go out to Paul, Debbie and family.

Read the article in the Reading Chronicle here.

Date for your diary - BMSTC AGM - 16th June with a fantastic guest speaker!

A date for your diary - the BMSTC AGM will be a little later than usual on the 16th June, but our guest speaker this year will definitely be worth the wait!  We are delighted that Dr Claire Rice, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Multiple Sclerosis Neurology at the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences in Bristol will be joining us. 

Dr Rice currently works with the MS team at BrAMS and participates in the general neurology service at Frenchay Hospital. The aim of her on-going laboratory-based research is to improve repair in MS and she has been actively involved, together with Professor Scolding, in setting up clinical trials of bone marrow-derived cell therapy in progressive MS.  Read more about Dr Rice here. launch a new online tool to help people with MS "be kind to your mind"

Source MS Society:, the social network for people with MS, has launched an online tool to help people with MS ‘be kind to their mind’.

‘Thought Sort’ is the first online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tool specifically designed for people with MS. It aims to help people cope with the uncertainty and complex range of emotions that accompany an MS diagnosis.  Read on.

Welfare Reform and Work Bill: a disappointing result

Source MS Society:

This evening, MPs voted on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. We (MS Society) are deeply disappointed to report they voted to reduce the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for people in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) by £30 a week.  Read on.

MS Society Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell has been appointed as a non-executive Director of NHS England.

Source MS Society:

MS Society Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell has been appointed as a non-executive Director of NHS England.

The position will allow Michelle to play a key part in making decisions about the future of healthcare provided by the NHS in England.  Read on.

Participants still needed for MS-SMART secondary progressive MS trial

Source MS Trust:

The MS-SMART trial will look at drugs that may limit the progression of MS. Researchers have been recruiting people with secondary progressive MS from across the UK, but are still in need of more people to volunteer to take part.  Find out more here.

Breakthrough for ocrelizumab

Source MS Society:

American drug regulators have granted ocrelizumab a special status that could speed up approval following positive phase three trial results. Read on.

Waitrose Henley

Are you shopping in Waitrose Henley in February? Don't forget to use your green token to vote for the BMSTC Henley MS Support Group!

Friday, 12 February 2016

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 - 31st July 2016

Be part of the world’s greatest festival of cycling inspired by the fantastic Olympics.
Prudential RideLondon is a series of cycling events, a legacy from the fantastic 2012 Olympics. We want you to join #TeamBMSTC and take part in the challenging Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 which is 100 testing miles through London and Surrey - are you up to it?!

We have limited spaces for this amazing event. Contact Sam on 0118 901 6000 or email for more information!

For more information about Prudential RideLondon visit their website here.

Hormones released during pregnancy could be a potential treatment for relapsing remitting MS

Source MS International Federation:

Hormone levels are raised during pregnancy and pregnant women with MS usually have less disease activity when a hormone called estriol is increased. During the last three months of the pregnancy, relapses decrease by more than 70% when estriol reaches highest concentrations. - See more here

New Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub will be operating from 1st April

Source Reading Borough Council:

A new Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub will be operating from 1st April to provide targeted information and advice, support to manage caring and support to enjoy a life outside caring.

The organisation behind the new service will be talking through some of the new benefits the Hub will offer carers at the West Berkshire Carers Strategy Group on 3rd March (10:00 am, Council offices, Market Street, Newbury) and at the Reading Carers Steering Group on 21st March (10:30am, Council offices, Bridge Street, Reading. See link for more information.  For more info click here

Microsoft and Novartis use Kinect to help doctors assess Multiple Sclerosis

Source WinBeta:

It seems that Microsoft’s Kinect is definitely getting interesting use cases outside of gaming lately. For example, we told you last week how the technology allowed orangutans in an Australian zoo to play video games.  Today, Microsoft is showcasing another innovative way to useKinect, in a partnership with the global healthcare company Novartis.  Read on

Local Giving launch three campaigns for 2016

Source Local Giving:

In April we are celebrating fundraisers in our ‪#‎LocalHero‬ campaign, plus the dates for the ever-popular Grow Your Tenner are confirmed. Due to the success of last year's ‪#‎GiveMe5‬ on Giving Tuesday, we'll be running it again!  For information on all three campaigns click here.

 Happy Friday and happy planning!

Minister commits to finding off-patent drugs solution

Source MS Society:

There is currently no system in the UK to get old drugs relicensed for new purposes without pharmaceutical sponsorship. There are a number of treatments which are off-patent (or soon to be) with promising clinical trial results for people with MS.  Read on.

Vote for us with Galaxys Hot Chocolate Fund and we might win £300!

Vote for BMSTC Here!

MS Society CEO rejects welfare reform recommendation

Source MS Society:

Think tank organisation Reform has suggested the Government reduce the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £60 a week for those in the Support Group.

Michelle Mitchell, our Chief Executive said: “This proposal shows no common sense thinking on welfare. The reality is some people are simply too unwell or disabled to work"  Read on.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

New for 2016 - Oxygen Therapy at surface pressure

BMSTC will be installing an external breathing position on our chamber to deliver oxygen therapy at surface pressure. Other MS Therapy Centres have found this popular with their members, in particular for those who have difficulty with their ears inside the chamber, or find it too claustrophobic.

Blood carries most of its Oxygen around the body in Haemoglobin, but because we live under a pressure of one atmosphere, in addition, there is also a little Oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma. By increasing the Oxygen breathed to 100% at surface pressure, we can increase this plasma dissolved Oxygen to give an overall advantage in blood carried Oxygen by about 6%.

This considerable increase comes at little cost in comfort, time or resources so the benefit is easy to appreciate.

You can breathe oxygen for as long as you like up to a maximum of 1 hour. The new service will launch on Tuesday 9th February and run alongside our regular oxygen therapy sessions. The service is offered free of charge for our MS members, however donations are greatly appreciated. Call 0118 901 6000 to book or for more information email

Nearly 14,000 disabled people have mobility cars taken away

Specially-adapted Motability car lifting a wheelchair
Source BBC:

Nearly 14,000 disabled people who rely on a specialist motoring allowance have had their cars taken away from them following government welfare changes.

Figures seen by the BBC show almost half of those having to be reassessed for this support under the changes lost their Motability vehicle.  Read on.

Thinking about a holiday..........?

Carl, Jacqui and Max Alban welcome you to I Need A Holiday Too. A unique concept in holidays for disabled people wanting to travel to France. Based on the pink granite coast of Brittany, on the banks of the River Jaudy in a small and very beautiful town called La Roche Derrien, we offer the comfort of modern living in a rural traditional setting, yet we are only ten minutes away from the beaches, several towns and all the other attractions you would expect on a holiday. - See more here!

New MRI Technique Allows Faster Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

Source Scicasts:

Nottingham, UK (Scicasts) — A new way of using MRI scanners to look for evidence of multiple sclerosis in the brain has been successfully tested by researchers at The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.  Read on.

Lego reveals first ever toy figure in a wheelchair

The figure was first seen at Nuremberg Toy Fair

Source The Independent:

'This move by Lego is massive in terms of ending cultural marginalisation; it will speak volumes to children, disabled or otherwise, the world over'  Read on.

Cooking hasn’t cured me, but it’s helped me live with MS

Source The Guardian:

When my Lancashire hotpot beat a professional chef’s, I decided to revive my website about cooking with a chronic illness.  Read on.