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 6665 MSFocus Summer 2016 evaluated by cognitive tests and by 3-Tesla resting state functional MRI at baseline and after the eight-week period.At follow- up,the 12 patients in the video-game group had significant increases in thalamic functional connectivity in brain areas corresponding to the posterior component of the default mode network, which is one of the most important brain networks involved in cognition. The modifications in functional connectivity, shown in the video game group after training, corresponded to significant improvements in test scores assessing sustained attention and executive function. The results suggest that video- game-based brain training is an effective option to improve cognitive abilities of patients with MS. The study was published online in the journal Radiology. Dr. Thrower: As a parent, I’m always trying to limit the time my son spends on video games. As it turns out, not all video games are bad. This study shows how the use of brain training games may be used like a form of physical therapy to improve cognition. People with MS using the brain training games showed improvements on functional MRI and on cognitive test scores. Let’s not let our kids see this study. Study Finds Greater Role for Environment in MS According to early research, led by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust, environmental factors may be playing a much greater role in the onset of MS than previously realized. The theory is based on new findings showing that black people and South Asians in east London have a higher prevalence of MS compared to those groups in their ancestral countries, indicating a strong environmental influence on the disease that could be driving higher MS rates in London. The researchers used electronic records from general practices in four East London boroughs which were reviewed for the number of MS-diagnosed patients, grouped by ethnicity. What they found was that MS appeared to be several times more prevalent among African people and South Asians living in London compared to those groups living in their ancestral territory. While prevalence differences could be explained by fewer MS diagnoses occurring in less resourced countries, the authors said it is unlikely to explain the disparity in prevalence between these territories. They said that an alternative or additional explanation would be increased exposure, in the UK, to environmental agents or behaviors that facilitate the development of MS. The study was published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal. Dr. Thrower: MS results from a complicated dance between genetic and environmental factors. More than 60 genes have been identified that play a role in the risk for developing MS. Environmental risk factors include low vitamin D levels, tobacco smoking, obesity, and the exposure to certain viruses. The role of dietary factors, such as sodium and diets higher in animal fats, is still being sorted out. Traditionally, certain parts of the world and certain racial groups have a low risk for developing MS. These include parts of Asia and Africa. This study suggests that environmental factors can shift a seemingly lower MS risk group into a higher MS risk group.