As we reach the start of another year, it seems a good time for me to review the last 12 months, as seen through the eyes of 50shadesofsun.com.
The year began by focusing on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Dr Denis Fedorenko of the HSCT centre in Moscow published a guide to the procedure.
UK government policies grabbed my attention, along with actions regarding people with disabilities and benefits to which they are entitled.
New treatments came to the fore this month. Ocrevus gained approval from the FDA, while Zinbryta got the go ahead for use in the UK.
Allegations had been made that new disability access policies at Disney parks was discriminatory. However, a court decided that the new way of doing things was perfectly ok.
MS treatments were in the spotlight once again. Questions were being asked about the drug safety and why many people choose to avoid them.
My attention was caught by one of the UK government contractors trying to put the chaotic assessment process behind it. It chose to change its name but that was fooling no one.
I also looked at the much valued and desired matter of independence.
Risks appeared on two fronts. First, death and serious injuries to patients to the use of Zinbryta being limited in Europe. Second, people with disabilities in the UK were still facing the risk of benefit cuts.
Issues with lack of balance and mobility means that falls are a frequent reality. However, not all falls are the same.
I also looked at MS treatments and how close we might be to finding the holy grail – a cure.
Inside criticism surfaced about mismanagement of disability benefits. Nothing new to me but good to have confirmation from within. On the same tack, the UK government department responsible for benefits was trying to hide assessment problems.
Talking of confirmation, my theory the MS is linked to glandular fever, or mononucleosis, was backed by researchers.
A number of drugs were labelled ‘rip-offs’ in a new report. These included MS drug alemtuzumab.
UK government officials proved they do not understand variable conditions, such as those experienced by people with MS.
The number of people wth MS in the USA is more than double that previously thought. Could that be similar elsewhere?
We knew UK spending cuts were dangerous but now we know that they have ben responsible for needless deaths.
Great to see the doctor who first suggested CCSVI treatment could help people with MS now agrees this isn’t true.
However, shocking to see that someone assessed as ‘fit to work’ died before the appeal could be heard.
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.
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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.