• MS Quiz

    Feel like a little quiz on MS?
    Go here to test your knowledge on what MS is, what it does, and what symptoms can be part of MS.
    The quiz is short, so in just 10 questions you can find out if you need to brush up your knowledge somewhat or if you are on top of your game.
    Good luck, and don’t forget to share your results! Continue reading

  • Life’s meant to be…

    Talking down on people’s illness is something I avoid at all costs, as everyone has some cross to bear. Because of other people’s reactions towards my own illnesses, character and lifestyle, I simply know that blaming an ill person for being sick can destroy many things. Whatever people may get up to in their life, never attack them on their weakest point, i.e. an incurable illness they never asked for. It’s low, it’s patronising and it doesn’t speak well of the person doing it. In fact, it says more about the person being this offensive than the person they blame. Continue reading

  • Positive MS News: March 2015

    Yes, here’s the March edition already! I will try and update the post each week as it will be a busy month ahead with Brain Awareness Week in Ireland, National MS Education and Awareness Month is an effort by the … Continue reading

  • Not my face!

    In a world of selfies and size zero clothing, a negative body image can weigh heavily on healthy people, never mind disabled people. Being ill in itself often makes you feel less desirable. In the world of MS, where wheelchairs spread doom and gloom to those that get hit with that tag, body-image requires a whole new level of acceptance.
    I firmly believe beauty is limited to time and space. In addition, it only runs skin deep and definitely doesn’t reveal true worth. Continue reading

  • MS: a social disconnect

    Therein lies the disconnect: the way others want me to be, and me not being able to keep up. How many of us have pretended to be well enough to walk another 500 meters? How many say they are OK when they feel pain in their limbs, their eyes and in their soul? How many say they will be able to go to work when they were awake half the night because of pain?
    Unwillingly we are put in a non-self-imposed isolation; we are put there by our illness, and quite often by the outside world. Our mental functioning is now processed differently because of our illness. Continue reading

Book lovers, unite!


I have always imagined that Paradise
will be a kind of library.
(Jorge Luis Borges)

If this yesterday’s long list of Firefox bookmarks was anything to go by, you’d have taken me for a very active library assistant waiting impatiently to sort non-fiction books according to the Dewey Classification again. It left me mesmerising out loud that you can take the girl out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the girl. After all, I was destined for librarianship in some shape or form from early in life.

And that’s what I ended up doing: studying library sciences. Via word of mouth I then moved to different libraries to update and integrate their manual indexes, lists and catalogues with electronic ones. Often Herculean at best, since each library had thousands of books, CDs, videos, newspapers and other items waiting to be added. Continue reading

Blurred notes to self

10446626_493205107477168_3492364098128049118_nSunday evening, as always a short look forward to the coming week, and a long goodbye to the past three weeks. There’s the usual MS fatigue and some added black-and-white-being-fed-up always having to repeat myself. In other words, today has been, and still is, all about ‘out with the old, in with the new’ but not before letting off some steam.

In a recent post for the blog of the Irish MS society, I used one of my favourite quotes by Lewis Carroll, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

I wrote about being a different person pre- and post-diagnosis. Being diagnosed was a super-charged emotional rollercoaster ride, the ride hurdled forward by the passing away of six family members (including my only sibling, Nana and stepdad) the following 3.5 years and by turning single again. Let’s just say that before being able to get up and crawl on my hands and knees, I was knocked sideways again, six times over. Continue reading

Eyes: pure vision


We use them to learn, navigate, assess and appreciate. They help our brain understand our environment and sometimes, as peculiar as it sounds, we use them to listen.

Louis Braille, Stevie Wonder, John Milton, Jorge Louis Borges, Galileo Galilei, Eamon de Valera, Johann Sebastian Bach and many others had eyesight issues. Some managed to produce works of pure genius like John Milton did when he wrote his epic Paradise Lost after he became blind at the age of 43 in 1651. He bent a negative event into a positive one, something that many since Milton have done, and done well.

When one or both start being a nuisance, you certainly feel apprehensive. I’ve been wearing glasses since age 6, and contact lenses since age 20. I should be well-used to handling them so, but I am acutely aware of the tricks eyes can, and in fact, do play.

Continue reading

Medical Apps for Clinicians

285x285_Best_MS_Apps_2014_12MS @Point of Care
MS @Point of Care presents valuable information in an easy-to-digest format. MS @Point of Care is a series of chapters and other tools that aid in making informed decisions regarding diagnosis, treatment, and symptom management.
Available on iPhone


MS Diagnosis and Management
The Multiple Sclerosis – Clinical Care app is designed to be a handy tool for neurologists, resident physicians, and other healthcare providers to aid in the diagnosis and management of MS. Continue reading

10 Useful MS Apps

285x285_Best_MS_Apps_2014_12EDSS Calculator
The Toronto EDSS Calculator helps healthcare professionals and researchers compute the Expanded Disability Severity Score (EDSS) for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. The application facilitates the rapid and accurate calculation of the EDSS using Kurtzke’s algorithm.
Available on Android, iPhone and iPad Continue reading

MS Treatment Apps

SymTrac-free-iPhone-app-helps-sufferers-of-MS-Android-soonAs we become more mobile as  time goes on, we also want more access and availability of our medical history and treatment plans wherever we travel. Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money making such apps as inclusive as possible, with some true digital gems.

This post is about MS treatment/wellness apps, whereas part two will be about medical apps in the broader sense of the word. If you find your treatment or country isn’t up-to-date in the list, bear with me/big pharma please, as apps might be in the early stages of development. I will keep on checking for updates though, or if you know when/where I can find links, do give me a shout! Continue reading

Clinical trials explained

 NordForsk_Clinical Trials_01phases

In the UK, it takes over 12 years to develop a new medicine to the standards of quality, efficacy and safety laid down by legislation. It typically costs £1.15 billion to do all the research and development necessary before a new medicine can be licensed for use.

The majority of medicines under development never make it to the market; following thorough studies, they may be found to have unacceptable side effects, or they don’t work any better than existing treatments.

Timeline of medicine development

For every marketed medicine that makes enough money to pay for its development, about 25,000 chemical compounds were tested, on average 25 of these will have gone into clinical trials and five received approval for marketing.

Our timeline of medicine development shows the stages a medicine has to pass through before it can be approved for marketing.

For more facts and figures about the pharmaceutical industry in the UK visit the Knowledge hub section of this website.
By law, all new medicines must first be tested on animals, in order to ensure patient safety, learn more in the Animals and medicines research section.

Research and development

The pharmaceutical industry globally invests more in research and development  R&D) than any other industry – £13.3 million every day. The pharmaceutical industry employs around 23,000 people in R&D in the UK (OHE calculations based on ONS, ‘Business enterprise research and development’ (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) accessed March 2013.

For more:
ABPI, Bringing Medicines to Life

Clinical trials and medical research – Phases of trials


Search Clinical Trials

Patient Notification Service

To be continued

©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Positive MS News: February 2015

Image research

Time flies, as we’re once again nearing the end of February. It’s been an attention-grabbing month, with several positive news stories about treatment and also, about a rather interesting collaboration between Google and Biogen Idec.

First of all though, I wanted to add a link displaying how many clinical trials are ongoing as we speak. So dig in, and feel a little bit happier knowing that each day, a lot of people are seeking and working towards better treatment.

Additionally, I added two new categories to the list, news about MS Organisations and Diet also.


  1. Data Visualization Displays 142 Ongoing MS Clinical Trials
  2. MURDOCK study confirms Google partnership
  3. Google, Biogen Seek Reasons for Advance of Multiple Sclerosis
  4. Google Inc (GOOG) And Biogen Idec Inc Join Hands For Multiple Sclerosis Research
  5. Google, Biogen will use wearable sensors to study multiple sclerosis
  6. Google, Biogen Idec Unite to Bring New Research to Multiple Sclerosis

Continue reading

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