#ACTRIMS2018 – Clene Nanomedicine Presents Positive Results for MS Remyelinating Therapy

Clene Nanomedicine says its pre-clinical studies demonstrate the remyelination effects of CNM-Au8, supporting its potential to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and other demyelinating disorders.

Clene presented its data in a session, “Nanocrystalline Gold As a Novel Remyelination Therapeutic for Multiple Sclerosis,” that took place at the third annual Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum in, held Feb. 13 in San Diego.

In MS, demyelination — the loss of the myelin sheaths surrounding neurons — is accompanied by a disturbance in the ability of nerve cells to conduct signals to and from the brain.

CNM-Au8 is an orally administered gold nanocrystal suspension that triggers oligodendrocyte cells to produce new myelin. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells are present in adult brains and have been detected in and around MS lesions. Yet they must be activated into mature oligodendrocytes in order to produce new myelin. CNM-Au8 induces the activation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells.

CNM-Au8 has been shown to induce remyelination in multiple animal models of MS. Researchers demyelinated these animal models either by feeding them cuprizone, a toxin, to demyelinate neurons in the central nervous system, or injecting them with lysolecithin to demyelinate spinal nerve axons.

In the lysolecithin model, through the use of Luxol fast blue (LFB) staining, CNM-Au8 was found to induce remyelination. Researchers commonly use LFB to observe myelin under a microscope. Furthermore, behavioral and fine motor assays in cuprizone-treated mice showed that CNM-Au8 restored behavioral function following demyelination.

The results also suggested that CNM-Au8 enhances cellular bioenergetic processes, which most likely helps increase myelination.

One of the major drawbacks to therapies now used to treat MS is that they don’t work to remyelinate MS lesions.

Mark S. Freedman

“Remyelination of MS lesions represents an important unmet clinical need unaddressed by current therapies,” Mark S. Freedman, neurology professor at Canada’s University of Ottawa, said in a press release. “Clene’s preclinical remyelination data are very encouraging, and the proposed mechanism of action of enhanced bioenergetics driving cellular differentiation and myelin production is unique and represents a paradigm shift in MS therapeutics.”

Added Clene’s CEO, Rob Etherington: “The therapeutic potential of CNM-Au8 for helping patients with demyelinating disorders is significant. No other drugs approved for the treatment of MS have been shown to remyelinate chronic MS-induced lesions.

For this reason, we are looking forward to the launch of our VISIONARY-MS Phase 2 trial in the summer of 2018 with oral administration of CNM-Au8 in adults with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis who suffer from chronic optic neuropathy.”

Clene, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, collaborated with Stephen D. Miller of Northwestern University and Robert H. Miller of George Washington University in these pre-clinical studies.








Medical Marijuana Constitutional Amendment Possible in Nebraska

Sen. Anna Wishart

 Yesterday, Nebraska Sen. Anna Wishart introduced Legislative Resolution 293CA. If the Legislature passes this resolution, Nebraskans will finally have the chance to vote on medical marijuana. “Tens of thousands of Nebraskans are needlessly suffering because they don’t have access to medical cannabis, including veterans, children and the terminally ill,” Sen. Wishart said. “Nebraska leaders have failed to act and provide these Nebraskans and their doctors the freedom to make decisions for their patients, without fear.”

Sen. Wishart has been a stalwart ally to patients in Nebraska, having been the primary sponsor of last year’s medical marijuana bill. The legislature failed to act on this important issue in last year’s session, but with this year’s resolution, the legislature could let the people of Nebraska make the right choice to give patients access to medicine they desperately need.

A February 2017 poll showed that 83% of Nebraskans support medical marijuana conceptually, and 77% support the ballot initiative.





Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types?

When browsing Leafly or purchasing cannabis at a shop, you may notice strains are commonly broken up into three distinct groups: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Most consumers have used these three cannabis types as a touchstone for predicting effects:

Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.
Sativas tend to provide more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
Hybrids are thought to fall somewhere in between the indica-sativa spectrum, depending on the traits they inherit from their parent strains.
This belief that indicas, sativas, and hybrids deliver distinct effects is so deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture that budtenders typically begin their strain recommendations by asking you which of these three types you prefer.

However, data collected by cannabis researchers suggests these categories aren’t as prescriptive as one might hope—in other words, there’s little evidence to suggest that indicas and sativas exhibit a consistent pattern of chemical profiles that would make one inherently sedating and the other uplifting. We do know that indica and sativa cannabis look different and grow differently, but this distinction is primarily useful only to cannabis cultivators.

So how exactly did the words “indica” and “sativa” make it into the vernacular of cannabis consumers worldwide, and to what extent are they meaningful when choosing a strain?

The words “indica” and “sativa” were introduced in the 18th century to describe different species of cannabis: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. The term sativa, named by Carl Linneaus, described hemp plants found in Europe and western Eurasia, where it was cultivated for its fiber and seeds. Cannabis indica, named by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, describes the psychoactive varieties discovered in India, where it was harvested for its seeds, fiber, and hashish production.




Mid-term sustained relief from headaches after balloon angioplasty of the internal jugular veins in patients with multiple sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients frequently suffer from headaches and fatigue, and many reports have linked headaches with intracranial and/or extracranial venous obstruction. We therefore designed a study involving MS patients diagnosed with obstructive disease of internal jugular veins (IJVs), with the aim of evaluating the impact of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) on headache and fatigue indicators.


286 MS patients (175 relapsing remitting (RR), 75 secondary progressive (SP), and 36 primary progressive (PP)), diagnosed with obstructive disease of IJVs, underwent PTA of IJVs during the period 2011–2015. This included 113 headache positive patients (82 RR, 22 SP, and 9 PP) and 277 fatigue positive patients (167 RR, 74 SP, and 36 PP). Migraine Disability Assessment(MIDAS), and the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) were evaluated: before PTA; 3-months after PTA; and at final follow-up in 2017. Patients were evaluated with Doppler sonography of the IJVs at 1, 6 and 12 months after PTA and yearly thereafter. Non-parametric statistical analysis was performed using a combination of the Friedman test and Spearman correlation analysis.


With the exception of the PP patients there were significant reductions (all p < 0.001) in the MIDAS and FSS scores in the 3-month following PTA. The improvement in MIDAS score following PTA was maintained throughout the follow-up period in both the RR (p < 0.001; mean of 3.55 years) and SP (p = 0.002; mean of 3.52 years) MS cohorts. With FSS, significant improvement was only observed at 2017 follow-up in the RR patients (p < 0.001; mean of 3.37 years). In the headache-positive patients, post-PTA MIDAS score was significantly negatively correlated with the change in the blood flow score in the left (r = -0.238, p = 0.031) and right (r = -0.250, p = 0.023) IJVs in the RR patients and left IJV (r = -0.727, p = 0.026) in the PP patients. In the fatigue-positive cohort, post-PTA FSS score was also significantly negatively correlated with the change in blood flow in the right IJV in the PP patients (r = -0.423, p = 0.010). In addition, the pre and post-PTA FSS scores were significantly positively correlated in the fatigue-positive RR (r = 0.249, p = 0.001) and SP patients (r = 0.272, p = 0.019).




Sorgente: Mid-term sustained relief from headaches after balloon angioplasty of the internal jugular veins in patients with multiple sclerosis

A Malta si procede verso la produzione statale di cannabis ad uso medico – BeLeaf


Il governo di Malta presenta la prima lettura di un disegno di legge per regolamentare la produzione di cannabis medicinale sull’isola

Il ministro dell’Economia, Chris Cardona, questa settimana ha presentato la prima lettura di un disegno di legge che disciplinerebbe la produzione di cannabis medicinale a Malta.

Parlando in parlamento  il mese scorso  , il ministro della Sanità, ha detto Chris Fearne che oltre a facilitare la disponibilità di cannabis medicinale nel paese, il governo avrebbe anche cercare come “gravi ragazzi” possono ottenere le licenze per la fabbricazione di prodotti cannabis sull’isola .

Ha anche detto che la misura servirebbe ad abbassare i prezzi della cannabis medica per i nostri cittadini.

Modifiche alla tossicodipendenza (trattamento, non incarcerazione) hanno cominciato a lottare il mese scorso, e Fearne ha detto di sperare le modifiche entrino in vigore entro l’inizio di febbraio.

Il governo non vuole essere lasciato fuori dalla carriera nell’industria della cannabis medica che si sta svolgendo in Europa e nel resto del mondo. La produzione di cannabis medicinale sull’isola aiuterà i pazienti maltesi ad ottenere, più facilmente ed a un prezzo più competitivo, la cannabis medicinale e i suoi derivati.

Sorgente: A Malta si procede verso la produzione statale di cannabis ad uso medico – BeLeaf

Ganja with a bit of Ginja: Mendo Breath by Liberty Reach

I’m a ginger and I love ganja, hence the name Ginja Ninja. I love looking for other items that relate to my ginger personality, so when I was given a jar of Liberty Reach’s Mendo Breath, I immediately gawked at the vibrant redish orange (ginger) hairs covering the nugs. These golf ball-sized green goodies were manicured to perfection, trichomes stacked so tight the light from my phone made them glisten like frost on a chairlift at Stevens Pass.

This strain is by no means foreign to me, but the look, smell and density this beautiful nug was. I ground and loaded it up, and a few small fires later I was in the land of the stoned. This Mendo Breath had an easy smokability to it; clean, smooth hits each rip, accompanied by a stoned-to-the-bone, euphoric high. I was up and mobile, with little to no munchies and tons of good times that followed each smoke sesh. The effects lasted about 45 minutes or so and I maintained my witty, on-my-toes banter while taking ripper after ripper on the delta.

Sorgente: Ganja with a bit of Ginja: Mendo Breath by Liberty Reach


mylibertyreach.com | Twitter: @MyLibertyReach | Facebook: @LibertyReach



Dr. Fenney Saint Francis Hospital and Medical center in Hartford Connecticut.

Medical Marijuana and Acute Pain Study – A new study is being conducted by Dr. Fenney out of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical center in Hartford Connecticut. The trial is state funded and will compare opioids and medical marijuana for treating acute pain, (ie a broken bone)

There are studies that suggest that medical marijuana is effective for chronic pain, which is pain that continues after an injury should have healed. Dr. Feeney wants to test marijuana for acute pain, where opioids have long been the drug of choice for physicians.
“The big focus from my standpoint is that this is an attempt to end the opioid epidemic,” he says. Overdoses from opioids, killed more than 30,000 people in 2015.


Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which makes it very difficult for researchers to study. Scientists first have to apply for a license from the DEA, which can take years and the only available supply for researchers is the government’s marijuana grow facility at the University of Missipipi, which has limited supplies.
Feeney’s research on acute pain is able to get around the issues associated with marijuana’s scheduling. Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Connecticut. Instead of directly supplying the patients with marijuana, a doctor certifies a patient to use marijuana, and the patient then picks it up at a dispensary or pharmacy.

“The strains I have to select from are so pure and so potent that the stuff they get from the University of Mississippi pales in comparison,” says Feeney.

The trial includes 60 patients with rib injuries in total—30 on marijuana, 30 on opioids. Because of the study’s design, patients get to choose whether they use opioids and marijuana to control pain. So far, the hospitals have enrolled a quite a few patients. They’ve all chosen marijuana.


Dan Clauw, who runs the pain lab at the University of Michigan, and his colleagues published a survey of patients who started using medical marijuana to alleviate pain. They cut their previous opioid use by two-thirds.

“They felt a lot better when their pain was being controlled by cannabis rather opioids because opioids have a lot of side effects,” he says. “Those side effects include dizziness, constipation, sexual dysfunction and—in the case of overdoses—breathing problems. That’s because opioids receptors are also in the brainstem, the part of the brain that regulates breathing. Marijuana acts on a different set of receptors.”




Efficacy and Safety of Extracranial Vein Angioplasty in Multiple Sclerosis A Randomized Clinical Trial

When intraluminal defects, compression, or hypoplasia are identified in the internal jugular or azygos veins, the condition is known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI).1,2 An Italian open-label study3 published in 2009 including 65 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) found an association between MS and CCSVI. The study also found that venous percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) was associated with an improved Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) score at 1 year in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and a reduction in the proportion of those with gadolinium-enhancing lesions on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This preliminary study attracted considerable media attention in Italy and elsewhere; media-based groups formed to promote the treatment, and some called to make it freely available.4

Subsequent to the initial reports by Zamboni et al,3prevalence studies of CCSVI in MS have reported conflicting results. A small 2012 case-control study5 further assessed the potential of venous PTA to benefit patients with MS. One year after venous PTA, the study found that functional score was improved compared with baseline, and the authors suggested that a double-blind randomized trial was justified.5

Both the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Italian Ministry of Health have urged that randomized clinical trials be conducted to assess the efficacy of venous PTA for CCSVI in MS.6,7 In response to these calls and to public pressure, the Directorate-General for Health and Welfare of the Italian Region of Emilia Romagna funded the Brain Venous Drainage Exploited Against Multiple Sclerosis (Brave Dreams) trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of venous PTA in patients with MS and CCSVI. We report the results of that trial.


Study Design

The Brave Dreams trial was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, parallel-group trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of venous PTA in patients with MS and CCSVI in extracranial or extravertebral veins. The study was conducted at 6 MS centers in Italy and their associated color Doppler ultrasonography (ECD) and angiography units, all of which were accredited by the Italian National Health Service. The Brave Dreams steering committee appointed an End Points Commission, which issued a detailed operations manual and trained trial physicians (who assessed primary functional outcomes, operated the ECD equipment, and performed catheter venography without venous angioplasty and venous PTA). After training, the commission issued an accreditation that was necessary for physicians to participate in the trial. Study monitoring was delegated to the company Medical Trials Analysis Italy in Ferrara, Italy. A trial data coordinating center was established to oversee data collection and quality and to perform the statistical analyses. The study adhered to the Helsinki Declaration and the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use Good Clinical Practice guidelines and was approved by the ethical committee of the University of Ferrara Hospital and subsequently by the ethical committees of the other participating centers. The trial protocol has been published.8The trial protocol can be found in Supplement 1. All participants provided written informed consent.


The Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Multiple Sclerosis

I was recently diagnosed with SIBO. What’s that, you may ask? SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. If you have never heard of it don’t worry. Neither did several doctors I’ve seen since my diagnosis. That’s a tricky game when doctors are in the dark about a patient’s illness.

Basically, SIBO is when bacteria normally found in the large intestine proliferate and spill over into the small intestine, a place where they don’t belong. It may be caused by a dysfunction of intestinal nerves or muscles or some sort of abnormality of the intestine.

Symptoms can include abdominal bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, joint pain, abdominal pain, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and weight loss.


“Bacteria living in the gut may remotely influence the activity of cells in the brain involved in controlling inflammation and neurodegeneration. Using preclinical models for multiple sclerosis and samples from MS patients, the team found evidence that changes in diet and gut flora may influence astrocytes (a star-shaped glial cell in the brain and spinal cord) in the brain, and, consequently, neurodegeneration, pointing to potential therapeutic targets. The team’s results were published in Nature Medicine.”

Francisco Quintana

“‘For the first time, we’ve been able to identify that food has some sort of remote control over central nervous system inflammation,’” said corresponding author Francisco Quintana, HMS associate professor of neurology and the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s.

“What we eat influences the ability of bacteria in our gut to produce small molecules, some of which are capable of traveling all the way to the brain. This opens up an area that’s largely been unknown until now: how the gut controls brain inflammation,” he said.

Now I know I’m on the right path to use food as medicine. 


BY Cathy Chester