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Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence

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MSCOE Newsletter Announcement

MS Veteran Newsletter

Discusses symptom management, medications, and living well with MS. Check out our latest issue!

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National MS Society & VA MoA

National MS Society & VA MoA

On March 6, 2019 the National MS Society and the VA signed a four-year Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to work together to benefit Veterans with MS.

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MSCoE Veteran YouTube Videos

View our short videos that highlight the life of a Veteran living with MS. Videos cover a variety of topics.

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Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence

MSCoE LogoThe Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence are dedicated to furthering the understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS), its impact on Veterans and effective treatments to help manage MS. By partnering with Veterans, caregivers, health care professionals, MS advocates, Veteran service organizations, and community health care institutes, MSCoE strives to minimize impairment and maximize quality of life for Veterans with MS.

MSCoE Network

Announcements

VA MS Publications

map of USMSCoE Network

MSCoE East and West have developed a national network of MS Regional Programs and MS Support Programs within the VA.

Given the size of the population of Veterans with MS seeking treatment in VA and their distribution across the country, it is feasible to provide access to high quality subspecialty care through a hub and spoke network with designated MS Regional Programs supporting local facilities.

Each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) will have at least one MS Regional Program that will serve as a source for MS specialty consultation and education. The primary care for individuals with MS will occur at their local VA medical facilities. MS Support Programs will collaborate with local MS Regional Programs. The MS Care Liaison at VA medical facilities with an MS Support Program will assist with coordination and referrals to the MS Regional Program as needed.

white figure talking through microphoneAnnouncements

March 6, 2019

The National MS Society and the VA signed a four-year Memorandum of Agreement to work together to benefit Veterans with MS.

November 26, 2018

The FDA has issued a safety alert, cautioning that when the MS medicine Gilenya (Fingolimod®) is stopped, the disease can become much worse than before the medicine was started or while it was being taken. This MS worsening is rare but can result in permanent disability.

There have been 35 such cases reported to the FDA and in published medical literature in the eight years since fingolimod was approved in September 2010. These reports describe severely increased disability accompanied by the presence of multiple new lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that occurred 2 to 24 weeks after fingolimod was stopped. Most patients experienced this worsening in the first 12 weeks after stopping. The severe increase in disability in these patients was more severe than typical MS relapses, and in cases where baseline disability was known, appeared unrelated to the patients’ prior disease state.

Providers should discuss with patients the potential risk of severe increase in disability reported in this alert. When fingolimod is stopped, patients should be monitored for evidence of an exacerbation of their MS and treated appropriately. Patients should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if they experience new or worsened symptoms of MS.

Gilenya (Fingolimod®) Prescribing Information

November 26, 2018

The package labeling for ocrelizumab has been updated with results from a Phase 3b randomized, open-label study which examined the concomitant use of ocrelizumab and several non-live vaccines in adults 18-55 years of age with relapsing forms of MS. Patients on ocrelizumab demonstrated an attenuated antibody response to tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine, pneumococcal polysaccharide, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, and seasonal inactivated influenza vaccines. The impact of the observed attenuation on vaccine effectiveness in this patient population is unknown. It is recommended that all immunizations according to immunization guidelines at given at least 4 weeks prior to initiation of ocrelizumab for live or live-attenuated vaccines and, whenever possible, at least 2 weeks prior to initiation of ocrelizumab for non-live vaccines. Vaccination with live-attenuated or live vaccines is not recommended during treatment with ocrelizumab and until B cell repletion has occurred.

An additional warning regarding infants born to mothers receiving ocrelizumab treatment is included in the updated labeling. In these infants, live or live-attenuated vaccines should not be administered before confirming the recovery of B-cell counts as measured by CD19+ B-cells; depletion of B-cells may increase the risks from live or live-attenuated vaccines. Non-live vaccines may be administered prior to recovery from B-cell depletion, however vaccine immune response assessment should be considered to see if a protective immune response has been mounted.

Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab®) Prescribing Information

November 19, 2018

Recently, a generic equivalent for Ampyra has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This medication is used to help with walking and balance problems which can be associated with MS. The generic medication is called Dalfampridine. As an FDA approved generic, the FDA ensures the generic medication provides the same clinical benefit and is as safe and effective as the brand-name medicine that it duplicates. A generic medication must have the same active ingredients, safety, effectiveness, strength, quality and benefits as the brand-name medication it copies.

Here are the important things you need to know; (1) Please do not start taking Dalfampridine until you have finished all of your Ampyra. (2) The Dalfampridine tablet may look different than the Ampyra tablet. (3) You should not feel any different with this change in product. (4) Please continue to take your Dalfampridine as instructed by your healthcare provider. (5) Call your VA pharmacy or healthcare provider if you have any questions or problems with this change in your medication.


Disclaimer: Links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by MSCoE of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization. MSCoE bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

man reading a magazine while sitting at a tableVA MS Publications

The VA ranks as one of the nation’s leaders in health research. Thousands of studies are conducted at VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes each year. This research has significantly contributed to advancements in health care for Veterans and other Americans from every walk of life.

Learn about MSCoE research on our Professionals and Veterans research pages.

Recent VA Provider Publications

Protective Stepping in MS: Impacts of a Single Session of In-Place Perturbation Practice

The Prevalence of MS in the US: A Population-Based Estimate Using Health Claims Data

ADSTEP: Preliminary Investigation of a Multicomponent Walking Aid Program in People With MS

Positive Factors, Pain, and Function in Adults with MS

Sex Differences in Predictors of Illness Intrusiveness in Persons with MS

Phase 2 Trial of Ibudilast in Progressive MS

Genome Sequencing Uncovers Phenocopies in Primary Progressive MS

ADSTEP: Preliminary Investigation of a Multicomponent Walking Aid Program in People with MS

Using the Anterior Visual System to Assess Neuroprotection and Remyelination in MS Trials

Headache and Its Management in Patients with MS


Disclaimer: Links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by MSCoE of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization. MSCoE bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.