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Archive for the tag “California”

Researchers Recruiting People with Primary Progressive MS for Genetics Studies – Key to finding treatment options

Primary progressive MS is characterized by steadily worsening neurologic function from the onset of the disease. There are still many gaps in the knowledge we have about what differentiates relapsing-remitting from primary progressive MS, and the underlying mechanisms of primary progressive MS. The MS Genetics Group at the University of California San Francisco is recruiting people with primary progressive MS for a research study involving a one-time blood sample donation with the goal of identifying genetic factors driving the course of the disease. The team also is looking for people without MS who are not related to serve as controls. The team hopes to identify the major genetic factors that play a role in disease presentation and progression. Please note: you do not have to be located in or travel to California to participate. Everything for the study can be done remotely and is free of charge to participants.

Rationale: Specific subtle variations in the human genome are known to play a role in determining who is susceptible to developing multiple sclerosis, and may also influence the course of the disease. People living with MS can make a difference in studies searching for these genes by donating their DNA with a blood sample. Identifying the exact location and role of MS genes could help determine who is at risk for developing the disease and can provide clues to its cause, prevention, and lead to better treatments.

Details: Once an individual has completed the initial online intake form, they will receive a call from the study coordinator to discuss details and answer any questions. The consent form and health information privacy form can be signed electronically. Participants will then be emailed a link to two additional short online surveys and sent a blood-collection kit. The kit includes everything necessary for the blood draw, which can be taken to your local Quest Diagnostics Lab and returned in a prepaid envelope to the lab at UCSF. There is no cost to participants.

Contact: To participate or request additional information, please complete a brief intake survey.
OR you may contact UCSF directly:
Clinical Research Coordinator
UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Genetic Susceptibility Project
675 Nelson Rising Lane, Suite 235A, Box 3206
San Francisco, CA 94158
Email: msdb@ucsf.edu
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-MS-Genes (1-866-674-3637) or Office Phone: (415) 502-7202

 

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Researchers Recruiting African Americans with MS Across the U.S. for Genetics Studies – Key to finding cause of MS and better treatments

Rationale: Genes are known to play a role in determining who is susceptible to developing multiple sclerosis, and may also influence the course of the disease. People living with MS can make a difference in studies searching for these genes by donating their DNA from blood samples. Identifying the exact location of MS genes could help determine who is at risk for developing the disease and may provide clues to its cause, prevention, and better treatment. Focusing on ethnic groups with lower susceptibility to MS (such as African-Americans) and higher susceptibility (such as individuals of Northern European descent), and searching for what is common and what is different in their genes may help pinpoint regions that contain MS genes. Large numbers of participants are needed to accelerate this research.

Details: It is not necessary to travel to San Francisco to participate in this study. Once an individual has completed the initial online intake form and has agreed to participate, they are emailed the links to two additional online forms and sent a kit via express mail. The kit includes a consent form, a health information privacy form, and a medical records release form. The kit also includes everything necessary for the blood draw, which can be taken to your local Quest Diagnostics Lab, where the blood can be drawn and then returned in a prepaid envelope to the UCSF MS Genetics Lab. There is no cost to the study participants.

Contact: To participate or request additional information, please complete our brief intake survey.

OR you may contact us directly:

Clinical Research Coordinator
UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Genetic Susceptibility Project
675 Nelson Rising Lane, Suite 235A, Box 3206
San Francisco, CA 94158
Email: msdb@ucsf.edu
Website: http://msgenetics.ucsf.edu/index.html
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-MS-Genes (1-866-674-3637)

MS Trial Alert: Researchers in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Pennsylvania Recruiting Women with Progressive or Relapsing MS for Study of Estriol to Improve Cognition

Summary: Investigators in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Pennsylvania are recruiting 64 women with MS relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, or primary-progressive for a 12-month study in which the sex hormone estriol will be compared with inactive placebo for effects on cognitive function. Participants can remain on their prescribed MS medication throughout the study. Rhonda Voskuhl, MD (University of California at Los Angeles) is the principal investigator of the trial. The study is funded by various private donors to the UCLA program.

Rationale: Estriol levels rise to very high levels naturally during late pregnancy, a time when most women’s MS disease activity declines. This led some to suspect that estriol may be responsible for this easing of symptoms during pregnancy. Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl (University of California, Los Angeles) and others showed that in mice estriol treatment was indeed protective. They then explored this lead with Society support, showing that estriol decreased disease activity in a small, early-phase trial of estriol in 12 women with MS. The National MS Society funded a team of investigators at 15 medical centers to conduct a two-year, controlled clinical trial of estriol added to standard therapy to treat MS. This trial recently reported results.

Meanwhile, Dr. Voskuhl’s team also has shown that, in mice, treatment with estrogen (a hormone related to estriol) can improve nerve impulse transmission in an area of the brain related to learning and memory, called the hippocampus. Problems with learning, memory and other cognitive functions are common in MS. (Laboratory Investigation 2012;92:1234) These and other observations led to the launch of this clinical trial to test the ability of estriol to improve cognition in women with MS.

Eligibility and Details: The researchers are seeking volunteers who are women 18 to 50 who have been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, or primary-progressive MS. If participants are on standard MS treatments, they may remain on these medications during the study. Participants should not have had a relapse within 30 days before the day of trial enrollment. A cognitive test called the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) will be administered to determine whether the participant qualifies for the study. Participants are excluded if they are on oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, progesterone IUDs or other sex hormones during screening and during the 12-month study period. For more details about enrollment criteria, please contact the site nearest you (listed below).

Participants are being randomly assigned to receive oral estrogen (8mg/day) or inactive placebo for one year. The primary outcome is improvement in cognitive function as measured by PASAT scores. Secondary outcomes under study include measurements from brain MRIs, cognition, quality of life, depression, and fatigue.

Contact: To learn more about the enrollment criteria for this study, and to find out if you are eligible to participate, please contact (for information about all sites nationwide):

University of California, Los Angeles
Contact: Jenny Bardens
Phone: (310) 206-2176
Email: jbardens@mednet.ucla.edu

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