[ Episode 1 Recap ] Well, Hello!

Hello all, hopefully, you have been able to tune in and digest the information Daana & and I shared on the podcast. Let me first say THANK YOU! We appreciate the support from our listeners and are happy to provide you with a wide range amazing content.¬† Please note that neither one of us have experience in the podcast world so be gentle with us, we are bound to make mistakes as we move forward and perfect things. ūüôā Our goal is to keep you informed and engaged as we bring you future episodes.

Now that you have a bit more information, I wanted to kind of go back and provide you with a brief explanation on some of the words, or medical terminology that we mentioned.¬† I am sure that a few, if not all, of these words thrown at you, can be intimidating — especially for newly diagnosed individuals.

Let’s face it, Multiple Sclerosis is scary.¬† Particularly for people who have never had anything wrong with them other than a common cold.¬† Below, we are following up and providing you with brief definitions.¬† Note: please speak to a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns.¬† Our experiences allowed us to become quite familiar with many of the common terms and MS language.¬† Certainly, we welcome your questions, and hopefully, this will create an on-going dialogue with our subscribers and those following the¬†blog.

Lherimette’s Sign:¬†Symptoms of¬†Lhermitte’s Sign. The main symptom ofLhermitte’s sign¬†is an electric sensation that travels down your neck and back and also feels present in the arms, legs, fingers, and toes. The pain is usually strongest when you bend your neck forward. The shock-like feeling is often short and intermittent.¬†¬†

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Spinal Tap/Lumbar Puncture: A lumbar puncture (also called a spinal tap) is a procedure to collect and look at the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF) surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

During a lumbar puncture, a needle is carefully inserted into the spinal canal low in the back (lumbar area). Samples of CSF are collected. The samples are studied for color, blood cell counts, protein, glucose, and other substances. Some of the sample may be put into a container with a growth substance. This is called a culture. If any bacteria or fungi grow in the culture, an infection may be present. The pressure of the CSF also is measured during the procedure.  Source: WebMD.com

Spasticity: is a condition in which certain muscles are continuously contracted. This contraction causes stiffness or tightness of the muscles and can interfere with normal movement, speech and gait. Spasticity is usually caused by damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement.  Source: www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Spasticity

MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging ( is a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures inside your body.  Source: WebMD.com

Evoked Potential: An evoked potential test measures the time it takes for nerves to respond to stimulation. The size of the response is also measured. Nerves from different areas of the body may be tested.

Types of responses are:

  • Visual evoked response or potential (VER or VEP), which is when the¬†eyes¬†are stimulated by looking at a test pattern.
  • Auditory¬†brain¬†stem evoked response or potential (ABER or ABEP), which is when hearing is stimulated by listening to a test tone.
  • Somatosensory evoked response or potential (SSER or SSEP), which is when the nerves of the arms and legs are stimulated by an electrical¬†pulse.

Each type of response is recorded from brain waves by using electrodes taped to the head. The visual evoked response (VER) is the most commonly used evoked potential test in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).  Source: WebMD.com

Optic Neuritis: Optic neuritis is an inflammation that damages the optic nerve, a bundle of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. Pain and temporary vision loss in one eye are common symptoms of optic neuritis.

Optic neuritis is linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes inflammation and damage to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis can be the first indication of multiple sclerosis, or they can occur later in the course of MS. Besides MS, optic neuritis can occur with other infections or immune diseases, such as lupus.  Source: mayoclinic.org

Myelin/Myelin Sheath: The insulating envelope of myelin that surrounds the core of a nerve fiber or axon and that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses, formed from the cell membrane of the Schwann cell in the peripheral nervous system and from oligodendroglia cells. Also called medullary sheath.

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Source: WebMD

Sclerosis: The abnormal hardening of body tissue; excessive resistance to change

Central Nervous System (CNS): The complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body. In vertebrates it comprises the brain and spinal cord.

DMDs: Disease-Modifying Drugs

  • IV steriods (solumedral):¬†This medication is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, severe allergic reactions, certain cancers, eye conditions, skin/kidney/intestinal/lung diseases, and immune system disorders. Methylprednisolone may also be used with other medications in hormone disorders.¬† Source: WebMD.com
  • Avonex –¬†AVONEX¬ģ¬†(interferon beta-1a) is a once-a-week injectable treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). It has been prescribed to over 455,000 people since its approval in 1996. AVONEX decreases the number of relapses, slows the progression of physical disability, and reduces brain lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).¬† Source: avonex.com
  • Betaseron –¬†BETASERON¬ģ¬†(interferon beta-1b)¬†is a prescription medicine used to reduce the number of relapses in people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This includes people who have had their first symptoms of multiple sclerosis and have an MRI consistent with multiple sclerosis. BETASERON will not cure MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease.
  • Copaxone –¬†Glatiramer acetate is a synthetic protein that simulates myelin basic protein, a component of the myelin that insulates nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This drug seems to block myelin-damaging T-cells¬†through a mechanism¬†that is not completely understood.
  • Glatiramer acetate is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the frequency of relapses in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. It is also approved for use in individuals who have experienced a first clinical episode (clinically-isolated syndrome) and have MRI features that are consistent with multiple sclerosis.¬† Source:¬†https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Medications/Copaxone
  • Tysabri –¬†TYSABRI¬ģ¬†(natalizumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to slow the worsening of symptoms common in people with MS and to decrease the number of flare-ups (relapses).¬†TYSABRI¬†increases the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).¬† Source: tysabri.com
  • Lemtrada – LEMTRADA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its risks, LEMTRADA is generally used in people who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough. It is not known if LEMTRADA is safe and effective for use in children under 17 years of age.¬† Because of its risks,¬†LEMTRADA¬ģis generally for relapsing MS patients who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that didn’t work well enough.¬† Source: lemtrada.com

Please visit www.nationalmssociety.org to research further about Multiple Sclerosis and the various disease-modifying drugs.

I hope this helps and serves as a reference for you as we move further in future podcasts.  On our next episode, we will begin to discuss DMDs, complementary (medical/holistic) therapies and how far the treatment of MS has come in the past twenty years.

Until next time!

Dawn & Daana

Myelin & Melanin Podcast – Episode 1

It’s here! Check us out, listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @myelinmelanin to keep abreast of our latest goings on.

Please feel free to reach out and comment with questions, feedback or suggestions for what you’d like to hear in future episodes.

Here We Are

Thanks for stopping by our page. We welcome your comments and hope to provide you with informative and intriguing information about Multiple Sclerosis.

We are Daana Townsend and Dawn Morgan, two young women that met years ago, then quickly became friends. Our friendship flourished as we began to discuss living life with MS. Something continuously gnawed at us when we finally said, “let’s collaborate and share with the masses our knowledge.” It was important for us to begin discussing things from our perspective as well as experiences. Yes, we were both diagnosed with this monster of a disease. Daana, at age 23 (2003) and Dawn at age 25 (2000). Neither one of us chose to sit back and allow it to command the narrative of our life. Over the years we have taken the horns and now we are in control.

Please join us for our Myelin and Melanin podcast each week. Each episode will surely feed your mind and some may even touch your souls.

This is an exciting time for us and those with an unpredictable autoimmune illness like MS. We will have guest speakers from top medical professionals along with a variety of MS “experts.”

Happy listening! Glad to make your acquaintance!

Dawn & Daana
Myelin and Melanin