Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 6664 MSFocus Summer 2016 The findings suggest reproductive hormones contribute to regulation of immune responses in autoimmune diseases such as MS. Medical evidence shows sex hormones and those involved in ovulation play an important role in the development of autoimmune disorders. A group of researchers, with the Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires, analyzed clinical, radio- logical, and immune response data in 16 MS patients who were subject to 26 ART cycles. The team recruited 15 healthy volunteers and 15 MS patients in remission not receiving ART to serve as controls. Results show that 75 percent of MS patients experienced disease exacerbation following infertility treatment. Relapses were reported in 58 percent of the cycles during the three-month period following ART treatment. Furthermore, ART was associated with a seven-fold increase in risk of MS exacerbation and a nine-fold increase of greater disease activity on MRIs. The authors found that 73 percent of exacerbations were new symptoms and 27 percent were attributed to a worsening of pre-existing symptoms. The study was published in Annals of Neurology. Dr. Thrower: MS is most commonly diagnosed in young adults, with women outnumbering men by about a 3-1 ratio. Family planning is of great importance to many of these young women. Discussions about the effect of pregnancy,breastfeeding, and the effects of medications on both of these, are part of comprehensive MS management. The authors of this study took a look at a less commonly discussed topic. While further research is needed, this study shows a fairly high risk of relapse with infertility treatment. Hopefully, further research will include information on relapse rates and types of treatment in women undergoing infertility management. Studies of women with MS have shown that the person’s pre-pregnancy MS activity (relapse rate,MRI activity) may help predict the risk of a post-partum relapse. In addition, stopping MS medications, especiallyTysabri,which may be associated with a higher risk of relapses, regardless of pregnancy/infertility issues. Brain-training Video Games May Help MS Patients A new study suggests that playing a certain kind of video game strengthens neural connections in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis, actually improving cognitive abilities. Researchers hope to study whether the plasticity induced by video games is linked to improvements in other aspects of the daily lives of those with MS. They also plan to look at how the video game can be integrated into a rehabilitation program. Researchers from the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at Sapienza University in Rome, studied the effects of a video game-based cognitive rehabilitation program on the thalamus in MS patients. They used a collection of Nintendo games, called Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, which trains the brain using puzzles, word, memory, and other mental challenges. Twenty-four MS patients with cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to either take part in an eight-week, home- based rehabilitation program – consisting of 30-minute gaming sessions, five days per week – or be put on a wait list, serving as the control group. Patients were