Tuesday, 28 February 2017

#ACTRIMS2017 – There is Increased Evidence Linking Viruses to MS Risk

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to be caused by genetic factors, but environmental cues are increasingly recognized to have an impact on disease onset and development. One environmental factor suggested to play a role in MS is infectious agents, such as viruses. Now, different teams of scientists have explored the potential link between different viruses and the risk for MS.  Read on.

Caroline Wyatt: MS 'brain fog' lifted after stem cell treatment

Source BBC:

BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt has spoken of how the "brain fog began to lift" after she had pioneering treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).

The former BBC defence correspondent was deemed unsuitable for an NHS trial and paid $60,000 (£48,000) for a stem cell transplant in Mexico in January.

Wyatt, 49, told BBC Radio 4's PM programme that she was "feeling better than I have done in a long time".  Read on.

Unexpected changes to PIP assessment

Source MS Society:

On Thursday night the Government announced surprise changes to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment.

We didn't expect these changes and are working hard to understand their potential impact. They follow proposals last year, which we and other disability charities sent a strong message against.  Read on.

Calling all Nationwide Building Society customers


Calling all Nationwide Building Society customers – vote for us in branch across the area we may receive a wonderful £1,000 donation.

Vote for us in the following Nationwide branches:

Basingstoke, Bracknell, Caversham, Crowthorne, Reading (Broard Street), Reading (Station Road), Tilehurst, Wokingham, Woodley

Money Box Live: Self-employment and disability

Source BBC:

There are a record 5m self-employed workers in the UK.They account for the 45 per cent of the growth in total employment since 2008. Analysis of the figures show that 16% of working disabled people identify as being their own boss, compared with 13% of the non-disabled population.  Read on and listen here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Mouse model helps explain why some patients with multiple sclerosis have seizures

Source EurekAlert:

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that affects nearly 2.3 million people worldwide. MS is triggered when the immune system attacks the protective covering around nerve fibers, called the myelin sheath. The "demyelination" that follows damages nerve cells and causes impaired exchange of information between the brain and body as well as within the brain itself.  Read on.

New voice for disabled consumers

Source BBC:

Disabled people will get a fresh chance to make their concerns heard as consumers, thanks to a government initiative to be announced on Tuesday.

Eleven sector champions are being appointed to help make different areas of business more accountable to the disabled.  Read on.

HSCT could have long-term benefits

Source MS Society:

HSCT could have long-term benefits for some people with MS, according to the results of a large study that we co-funded.

After five years, progression had stopped in just under half of the 239 people eligible for the treatment.  Read on.

MS Society Campaign: Our Green Paper response: some people with MS can't work, don't put more pressure on them

Source MS Society:

We’re really concerned about changes to disability benefits proposed in the Government's Green Paper on work, health and disability. And we let them know in our detailed response.

We’re urging them to scrap plans to introduce ‘mandatory activity’ for people in the support group of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). These plans could force people, already assessed as too unwell to work, to prepare for work or risk facing cuts to their benefits.  Read on.

Berkshire Carers Hub


Are you, or is someone you know, providing much-needed care for a loved one?
Get free access to a range of support and services – right when you need it most.

Carers Trust provides timely, personalised information and support via the Reading & West Berkshire Carers Hub to make caring for a loved one easier.  Read on.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Unwanted Jewellery

If you have any unwanted jewellery please could you bring it to the Centre for our Link Group to sell at various stalls and our Summer Fair.  Thank you!

Friday, 10 February 2017

APS Pain Therapy available at BMSTC

Action Potential Simulation (APS) is a new pain relief treatment offered by the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre (BMSTC), Reading.

 It had been piloted in the Centre with people with MS to help primarily with pain relief (e.g. MS hug and neuropathic pain in legs) but we have also trialled it for fatigue. It has been observed that some of our members have benefitted and others have not had any significant improvement.

The only side effect can be headache, which can usually be helped by drinking the recommended 1.5L of water.

APS is not suitable for women during pregnancy or for people who have: pacemaker, epilepsy, active cancer, recent stroke, heart attack, Pulmonary Embolism or DVT.  The recommended duration for treatment is 3 times a week for 8 weeks initially.

For further information about APS please click here.  Contact us at BMSTC on 0118 901 6000 or email henrietta@bmstc.org to find out more!

We are looking to recruit a Junior Physiotherapist

We are seeking an enthusiastic physiotherapist who wants to make a difference to the lives of people living with MS. You will be working in a purpose-built, independent Therapy Centre with a dedicated team of physiotherapists providing assessment, treatment and management, on an out-patient basis, for our members.

We are based at Bradbury House, just off Oxford Road in Reading, Berkshire. Here we have a fully equipped gym with specialist equipment, the only oxygen chamber open for people with MS in Berkshire, numerous therapy rooms and plenty of parking. Most importantly we have a friendly atmosphere and a lot of laughter.

For more more information about the role please see the Job description here.

Download application form here.

For more information about our MS Therapy Centre visit www.bmstc.org

Closing date for applications 10th March 2017 with interviews week commencing 15th March 2017.   

Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who maybe interested.

We need your help



We are looking for people to share their MS experience with us. So many people tell us how scary it is when they are first diagnosed and we want to show people they are not alone. 

Would you be happy to share your story with us? If so please email samantha@bmstc.org for more details.

Have you heard of trigeminal neuralgia?

Source:  MS Trust

Have you heard of trigeminal neuralgia? It's a type of severe neck pain which can cause stabbing or burning sensations down one side of the face. Research has shown that people who have MS are more likely to experience it.  Read on.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

How Fast Will Multiple Sclerosis Develop?

Source: Medical Daily 

A simple blood test can tell which type of multiple sclerosis a person has, according to study in scientific reports.  It touts the first known sign in the blood that indicates the central nervous system disease, in which communication between the brain and the rest of the body breaks down, creating motor problems and muscle weakness,  among other symptoms  Read on.

Free Webinar for people living with Progressive MS

Source:  National MS Society

Join a live webcast on February 13, featuring Alliance Collaborative Network Award recipient Dr. Francisco Quintana from Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Quintana is leading research to identify and evaluate drugs that protect the brain from damage in progressive MS.  (Note: 4pm GMT)  Read on. 

Caroline's HSCT stem cell transplant for MS 2017

Source: MS Society

BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt, who lives with MS, has been sharing her experiences of travelling abroad for HSCT and the challenges and emotions she’s faced. It’s a moving read: https://carolinewyatt.com/



Neuropathic pain - the 'invisible illness'

Source MS Trust:

The man opposite you on the train has one leg in plaster and one arm in a sling. Each time he moves, he grimaces with pain. Few of us could fail to have a degree of sympathy for his suffering. The apparently normal man seated next to him may be experiencing excruciating burning and stabbing pain in his legs and feet as a result of his MS. Who is to know, though? There is nothing to see to explain his pain. Neuropathic pain is truly an invisible illness.

First blood biomarker for multiple sclerosis discovered


Source New Atlas:

Although there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), there are treatments that can help prevent new attacks and improve function after an attack. However, there are three subtypes of the disease and determining this, as well as the appropriateness and effectiveness of a patient's current treatment, involves an array of expensive, time-consuming tests. Now, after a search lasting 12 years, an international team of researchers has identified a biomarker that would allow MS subtypes to be determined with a simple blood test.  Read on.

Stem cell transplants may induce long-term remission of multiple sclerosis


Source: NIH Gov

New clinical trial results provide evidence that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells can induce sustained remission of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. Read on.

Vote for us at Waitrose Henley


It's February and the lovely colleagues at Waitrose Henley have chosen the Henley MS Support Group (part of BMSTC) as one of their green token charities. 

If you are shopping there please vote for us and ask your friends to use their green tokens too. Happy shopping!


Woof, meow, tweet…the benefits of having pets in our MS life


Source: Multiple Sclerosis Net

Dog, cat, chinchilla, hamster, ferret, fish, bearded dragon, parakeet, pig, monkey – whatever your choice, pets really make us feel good, better even, as we live with chronic illness and disability. Not only can they provide physical assistance, they also warm our hearts and make living with MS a bit easier.  Read on. 

MS Patient’s Pick of the Week’s News:

Source Multiple Sclerosis Today:

Sense of Smell, Women, Biomarkers and More.  Read on.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Work, Health and Disability: Improving Lives – Consultation

Source DWP:

DWP have proposed new plans to help more people with long term conditions reap the benefits of work and improve their health. The plans are set out in the governments Work, Health and Disability Green Paper. It outlines how disability or a health condition should not dictate the path a person is able to take in line – or in the workplace. What should count is a person’s talents and their determination and aspiration to succeed.

The government is seeking views on what it will take to transform employment prospects for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

This consultation seeks views on how we can halve the disability employment gap. Despite the current record-breaking labour market, 4.6 million disabled people and people with long-term health conditions are out of work. Less than half (48%) of disabled people are in employment, compared to 80% of the non-disabled population.

Topics in this consultation include the role of employers and work coaches, improvements to the welfare system, investing in innovative services, occupational health support and changing the culture around work and health.

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health are keen to hear views from all interested parties, including employers, disabled people and disability organisations.

The consultation runs until 17th February 2017.

Best Regards,

Sharmin Khan | Partnership Manager | Department for Work and Pensions | Weybridge Fortune House | 7-13 Monument Hill | Weybridge | Surrey | KT13 8RX | Telephone 01932 748067 | VPN 787348067 | Mobile 07780 338735 | @WeybridgeJCP @BSSJCP on Twitter | www.gov.uk | Please consider the environment before printing |

Important: For security reasons DWP cannot discuss personal information with you over email. DWP will never ask you to send any usernames, passwords, personal, health/medical or bank account information via email and we will not be able to process such information if you do send it – it will be deleted. You must tell us about any changes that may affect your circumstances by post or telephone.