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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Roush driver Trevor Bayne sharing races but says he’s healthy

Former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne says his health isn’t a factor in sharing seat time with Matt Kenseth. Bayne insists he’s as fit as ever. Kenseth was hired by Roush Fenway Racing this week to split races in the No. 6 Ford with Bayne. Bayne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013.

Award-winning poet Lucia Perillo dies at 58 in Olympia

Lucia Perillo, an award-winning poet who wielded a fine-edged wit, unflinchingly dissecting mortality in verses that drew upon her suffering from multiple sclerosis, died Oct. 16 at her home in Olympia. She was 58.

Shining a light on MS rates

The Pacific Northwest is a great place to live. However, we have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis. A couple factors contribute to our region’s high rate of MS. One, our population is predominantly of northern European descent, the ethnic group at the highest risk of MS. And second, growing evidence suggests our low levels of vitamin D – the “sunshine vitamin” – may play a role in development of MS. (Prevalence of MS in sunny southern states is much lower than northern states.)

For patients with MS, symptoms of stroke can easily be mistaken

When Michael Burns, 52, suffered a stroke in December 2012, his multiple sclerosis had been in remission for about eight years. Thinking his stroke symptoms were an MS attack, Burns didn’t get immediate medical attention, a mistake he said he hopes to help other people with MS avoid. It started with a stomach virus. After severe vomiting, Burns said the muscles in his neck got painfully tight. Feeling horrible, he went to bed. When he woke, his left side was numb.

Rock Doc: Researcher sees link between MS and vitamin D

Multiple sclerosis is a nasty disease that attacks the central nervous system. People with MS experience different symptoms, and even for one person symptoms may vary over time. Some common complaints by people with MS are numbness, coordination and balance issues, vision problems, dizziness, depression, hearing and memory problems, and fatigue.  MS ain’t for sissies.

Passing along life’s lessons

Lindy Lewis knows all about jumping outside her comfort zone. She also knows sometimes life pushes you there whether you’re ready to jump or not.

New diagnosis for MS advocate

Deanna Kirkpatrick, an East Wenatchee, Wash., woman whose podcasts about living with multiple sclerosis have reached thousands of listeners around the world, no longer has MS. Or rather, she never did, according to a “dream team” of three Seattle neurologists she assembled in response to her nagging suspicions that she didn’t quite fit into the MS category. Kirkpatrick’s advocacy efforts were featured recently in an article in The Spokesman-Review.

Speaking of MS

To treat multiple sclerosis, try acupuncture or herbs. Or place your hope in a new oral drug called BG-12. Or one of the other drugs whose ads appear on your browser when you look up MS on WebMD. Or consider restoring your mobility with nutrition. Or snake venom. While there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, there’s no shortage of information and advice online about the disease – “good, bad and ugly,” said Deanna Kirkpatrick, 45, an East Wenatchee woman who helps create three podcasts about MS.

Mrs. Romney says horses helped with MS diagnosis

WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday that her love of horses helped her overcome her fear that multiple sclerosis would put her in a wheelchair. Ann Romney was guest hosting ABC's "Good Morning America" when she spoke about her depression after receiving the diagnosis 14 years ago.

Ann Romney says MS taught family about losing hope

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — Ann Romney fired back Wednesday at critics who have accused husband Mitt Romney of being out of touch with average Americans, saying her own bout with multiple sclerosis taught the family what it means to suffer and lose hope. "When people say that we've led a charmed life and we don't relate to people that are having trouble, I want to remind you that I've been in a very dark place, and I know what it is like to have no hope," Mrs. Romney said at a rally for women supporting her husband, the Republican presidential candidate, at the University of Findlay in Ohio. "So believe me when I tell you these words: We are there for you because we know what it feels like."

Feisty George Diana stood up to MS, pot laws

Life could be tough for a Catholic kid in the 1950s. So Sam Diana got tougher. George Diana remembers the taunts he and his brother would get walking home from school in their uniforms: “‘Cat-licker! Cat-licker! Cat-licker!’” George recalled recently. “Other kids wouldn’t play with us and stuff.”

Dr. Gott: Better diet could help son with multiple sclerosis

DEAR DR. GOTT: My son has progressive multiple sclerosis and is suffering with abnormal bowel movements. They’re very hard and large. His doctor recommended Colace, Fleet enemas and suppositories, but they don’t seem to help. His diet right now is baby food, hot cereal and pureed prunes, along with electrolytes and other liquids. He also takes vitamins and lots of medication for depression. We try different things every few days but are running out of ideas. Your information has been so valuable. I read your column every day in our local newspaper. Any suggestions?

Multiple sclerosis drug that’s taken orally promising

A large study on a new oral medication for multiple sclerosis has yielded promising results both in terms of how well the drug works and its safety, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug, Cladribine, is an existing chemotherapy medication that is used to treat hairy cell leukemia. It would be the first tablet medication for MS and would only need to be taken for eight or 10 days a year. Currently, MS drug treatments include injections and intravenous infusions. The disease is a neurological condition that often begins in young adulthood and can lead to problems with muscle control, vision, hearing and memory.

Stem cell transplant offers hope

Rami Amaro is betting on an experimental stem cell transplant treatment to fight off multiple sclerosis. It’s a risky – and expensive – procedure that the Hayden woman hopes will stop the degenerative effects of MS, a disease that affects brain function. Though she has undergone conventional treatments and is taking interferon shots every other day, Amaro has accepted – and has convinced her husband and four children – that a more radical approach is needed if she is to live the life she envisioned for herself.

Living with challenges of MS

Val Vissia has always been plagued by poor vision. “I need to put my glasses on to find my contacts,” she said. But after she turned 40, her vision problems worsened. She was diagnosed with optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve.