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CMSC Chatter is brought to you by The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and was created to be a source of credible and useful information for the MS community. CMSC welcomes reader comments, suggestions and feedback.


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Top tags: CMSC  three questions  30th Anniversary  Annual Meeting  CMSC staff  June Halper  Links  Social Media 

30 Years of CMSC

Posted By Lisa DeSantis, Monday, November 2, 2015
Hey CMSC Friends -- today, we can officially say that our 2016 Annual Meeting is THIRTY weeks away. Why is that important? Well, to start with, the 2016 Meeting, taking place June 1-4 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, will serve to mark the 30th anniversary of the Consortium of MS Centers! With our recent move into gorgeous new office space located in Hackensack, New Jersey, and this milestone anniversary coming up, we want to make this year's meeting our best and most memorable yet. One of the ways we plan to do this is with a social media initiative designed to put a spotlight on our 30 years of quality work in multiple sclerosis. Each week leading up to the annual meeting we will highlight a new MS-related topic, in hopes of increasing our social media reach and expanding our influence. We look forward to celebrating our 30th year with the help of each and every one of you. Please visit our 2016 Annual Meeting site for more details about the meeting and to register.

Tags:  30th Anniversary  Annual Meeting  CMSC  Social Media 

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Links Roundup: Week of October 2, 2015

Posted By Lisa DeSantis, Friday, October 2, 2015

It's Friday already - the week has flown by - and that means it is time for our weekly links roundup.  

Next week's 31st meeting of the ECTRIMS Congress will bring together MS thought leaders from the world over in Barcelona, Spain for a four-day teaching and learning meeting.  

Roche released reports this week regarding the success of Ocrelizumab, the first investigational medicine to show efficacy in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, currently in Phase III study

In pediatric MS news, current research points to the possibility that Tysabri could be an effective option for treatment of kids with MS.

The first electronic automatic injector for β interferon in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The autoinjector is manufactured by Bayer and delivers the company's Betaseron brand of β interferon, used to treat relapsing-remitting forms of MS. The new device, calledBetaconnect, will be available in early 2016.

We at CMSC hope that everyone going to Barcelona next week has an amazing trip filled with learning, networking with colleagues, and even a little time to see an amazing city!  


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Three Questions with . . . Robert P. Lisak, M.D., FAAN, FRCP

Posted By Lisa DeSantis, Monday, September 28, 2015

Image result for robert lisak 

This week, the spotlight is on Dr. Robert Lisak.  Let's see what Dr. Lisak has to say about his path to the CMSC Presidency.

CC: What is your favorite aspect of serving as President of CMSC?

RL: Being able to help advance the CMSC programs in comprehensive and multidisciplinary approaches to education of professionals involved in MS care, MS research and advocacy.

CC: How were you inspired to specialize in multiple sclerosis?

RL: The best course in Year 1 at College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University was neuroanatomy/neuroscience and the best course in Year 2 was Microbiology/Immunology. One of the outstanding clinical departments at Columbia was neurology and important MS research had been done at Columbia by both basic and clinical scientists.  And I then was able to spend 2 years doing neuroimmunology/neurochemistry research at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD between hy PGY1 and PGY2 years in Internrl Medicine before starting my neurology residency at the the University of Pennsylvania.  Im sure that those factors were the major reasons that went into neurology and  I specialize in neuroimmunology including multiple sclerosis. 

CC: Tell us something that few people know about you:

RL: I played Jazz piano and vibraphone professionally during my years in high school and college.


Thanks so much for participating in Three Questions, Dr. Lisak!


Tags:  CMSC  Three Questions 

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Links Roundup: Week of September 25, 2015

Posted By Lisa DeSantis, Friday, September 25, 2015

Another weekly feature on CMSC Chatter is our "Links Roundup".  Each week we will bring you a curated collection of relevant news stories and links of interest to our membership.  Here are this week's hot links:

This feature on medical marijuana from Multiple Sclerosis News Today addresses many of the same topics discussed at this year's Annual Meeting in Dr. Anthony Feinstein's opening lecture.  The need to balance pain relief with maximum efficacy in other areas, including cognition, makes medical marijuana a hot topic in the MS community.

Ann Romney is currently traveling to promote her book  “In this Together: My Story”  For the past year, the mother of five grown sons, grandmother of 23 and MS warrior has been raising funds and making appearances on behalf of a Brigham and Women’s Hospital facility in Boston that now bears her name: Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases.  

This article from Scientific American discusses the possible link between melatonin and MS relapses.  The interplay between Vitamin D and melatonin and their role in MS treatment and research is also detailed.

As we approach this year's ECTRIMS Congress in beautiful Barcelona, Spain, Biogen is readying to present its latest data on Aubagio and Lemtrada.  Read more about it here.


Tags:  Links 

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Three Questions with . . . June Halper, CEO, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers

Posted By Lisa DeSantis, Monday, September 21, 2015
Updated: Monday, September 21, 2015


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Welcome to the first installment of our "Three Questions" feature on CMSC Chatter.  We didn't have to go very far to track down our first interviewee -- our CEO June Halper was the natural choice to kick off the series.  

Anyone who has worked with June will tell you that she is a tireless advocate for the MS population, but June herself is reluctant to accept the praise that her co-workers, partners, friends and family are quick to bestow upon her.   So perhaps dynamic and humble are better descriptors for June. True to form, her answers to this week's Three Questions show her tendency to share credit for CMSC's work and her commitment to making a difference:   

CC: Tell us about a patient who made a profound impact on you.    

JH: It is hard to name one patient with MS that stands out; they all do.  Remember, when I first started working in MS, no one disclosed they had the disease because there were no treatments and there was a stigma involved.  The first people with MS I worked with in 1980, banded together to ask for more programs and services, better care, and an MS Center.  They were my heroes and heroines.  They went to newspapers, mayors of their towns, and friends and families to ask for help to treat the disease and no longer be ashamed.  This group of 40 people still stands out in my mind as my friends, role models, and why I love working in multiple sclerosis.

CC: What is your favorite aspect of being CEO of CMSC? 

JH: My favorite aspect of being CEO is the wonderful team I work with and the terrific leadership of our organization.  Our staff is dedicated to our mission, creative, and almost like an extended family.  Our leadership, board of governors, committees, task forces, and program leaders volunteer untiringly.

CC: Tell us something that not many people know about you. 

JH: I am an eclipse chaser and have traveled all over the world with my family to see total solar eclipses.  Africa, China, Japan, Argentina, the Caribbean, and Denmark are places we have gone to see the “hole in the sky” when the moon covers the sun for a brief period of time and the world stands still.  A breathtaking experience. 

Thanks so much, June, for taking the time to share your answers with CMSC Chatter!  See you all next time.

Tags:  CMSC staff  June Halper  three questions 

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Welcome to CMSC Chatter!

Posted By Lisa DeSantis, Thursday, September 17, 2015

We at CMSC are given many ways to interact with our membership.  We get to see and speak to many of you at our annual meeting each year.  We also work with various members in the course of organization and execution of our other events, both educational and social.  Recently, we have begun to expand our social media presence (follow us on Facebook  and on Twitter @mscare) - but we have noticed a few things lately that got us thinking that we would like to do something a little different.  And that something is this blog.  Here is a little peek into the thought process that led to the birth of our newest media presence:

1.  Facebook and Twitter are great, but they are a little limited.  Even though there is no formal character limit on Facebook, few people go onto their Facebook feed looking for in-depth information.  Our tweets are brief and usually designed to link to an article or program that we think our followers might be interested in.

2.  We love to hear member feedback.  We would love to have a forum where members feel welcome to comment on issues that face clinicians, therefore ensuring that the feedback you give reaches the appropriate person here at CMSC.  

3.  So many of our members are doing amazing things.  We want them to receive the recognition that they deserve.  

4. All of these thoughts are great, but a little random.  What can we do to integrate all of these ideas into a final product that will make our members take notice?

After a bit of brainstorming, we realized that we are missing a forum that so many other organizations take advantage of:  a blog.  The first thing that many of us do when we get to our desks every morning is review the latest news and developments in the field.  There are several MS blogs that we read daily and our aim is to make this blog one of YOUR must-reads.  

We plan to bring you a weekly link round-up featuring all of the best and most useful MS stories from around the web.  Each week we will bring you closer to a member of our community with a feature called "Three Questions" in which we will learn more about the people who make up our membership.  We also hope to spotlight all of the terrific projects that we are working hard to create.  You'll get to see the process that leads to the amazing undertaking that is our Annual Meeting, and hopefully you will gain a better understanding of just how much we love the work that we do.

So please keep your eye on this space in the next few months as we build our blog together.  Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions for topics that you'd like to see covered on CMSC Chatter.  We want to hear from you!

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