All posts by petroljc

Spring Newsletter 2015

Welcome to the spring newsletter! We have lots going on so read on and remember to book your attendance with Elaine. If in the future you would like to receive your newsletter by email just let Carol know at (help to keep our costs down).

Click on the link below to download the Newsletter. As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comments below!

mstg spring newsletter 2015

Christmas, raffles and cakes!

Christmas raffle

The Christmas raffle tickets will be going on sale from Thursday 9th October. Be sure to grab a few for the chance to win a Christmas hamper and even a festive ‘booze’ hamper! If you’d like to donate anything for the raffle prizes, please feel free to bring them along to the club on Thursdays, or telephone Elaine.


Accepting all donations!

We have also started to collecting for our raffles in aid of the Dinner and Dance this coming February (2015). If you have any bottle of spirits, wine, unwanted presents or anything else you wouldn’t mind parting with, then please bring them along. All donations are gratefully appreciated and really make a difference.


Let them eat cake

Our cake sale day is on 30th October, so if you’ve been inspired by the Great British Bake Off then feel free to flex your culinary skills and bake a cake for the event! Alternatively, we’re happy to accept any bought cakes that you’d be willing to donate. Bring your friends and family along to for a spot of conversation over a slice of cake and a cup of tea!



A visit from Remap is on the cards

While a date has yet to be set, we are expecting a visit from Remap at some point to talk us through the services they provide. Remap is a group of engineers that can adapt, or create tailor made equipment for those with disabilities where there is no suitable alternative. An example of just some of things they can do includes:

  • Chair beds and sofa-raisers
  • Special ramps and hand rails
  • Eating and holding equipment
  • Head and neck supports
  • Laser walking sticks
  • Window and door openers
  • Plus many more!

As soon as I have a confirmed date I’ll be sure to post here, so keep an eye on the website.



We’re always looking for new fundraising options, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please let us know at the MSTG club on Thursdays, or drop us a line on the website or on our facebook page.

Interim Winter Newsletter 2014

PDF version here: newsletter 2014 interim Winter


Your annual Dinner Dance is just around the corner and we need you to support this, our biggest fund raiser !

Friern Manor, Dunton.  February 8th

6.30 until carriages at Midnight.

Ticket includes 3 course meal with coffee, all drinks  and entertainment.  It is a fantastic evening and it is for you! Come along with friends and family or on your own and make new friends. Call Elaine as soon as possible on 07786 334451 to book your place.

Last date to book is February 2nd !!!

Thank you & Well done

Lisa Borg & Friends  for raising an amazing £582 for ‘The Walk

To Natalie for her excellent manicure/pedicure treatments. They are proving very popular so book soon!

To all the staff and members of the MSTG for agreeing to be filmed for the DVD to be played at the Dinner Dance. A brave move!   If this proves popular maybe we will make an exercise DVD for home use. Move over  Davina!!!!

Xmas Newsletter

Dear All,

Welcome to the Christmas newsletter in its new digital form! If you’d like to download the traditional style newsletter, just click here

Plenty of events are coming up, including our biggest fund raiser:

The Annual Dinner Dance
Friern Manor, Dunton
February 8th 2014. 6.30pm -12 am

A three course meal with coffee and all drinks and entertainment is included. It is a special night celebrating all that you do in the fight against M.S and we would love you to join us with your friends and family or come alone and make new friends. Tickets £50.

Christmas Craft Fair
T.A Centre, Clive Road, Warley
Thursday 5th December 10.30-1pm
We would also like your support with our Christmas Craft Fair. Maybe you would like to have a stall, bake a cake or just take a wander, buy some bits for Christmas and have a coffee with us ? Either way you are welcome! Please speak with Elaine if you would like a stall. Tel : 07786 334451

Can we send this to you electronically? Please let Elaine know your e-mail address. It will enable us to keep costs down. Thank you.

Indian Night
The Indian night was very well attended and we thank you for the nice comments. We do plan to repeat the evening but note that next time more space is required in the main restaurant along with service rather than a buffet. Watch this space……

MS Information Evening at Orsett Hall
Thank you to all the 240 people! who attended the meeting. The speakers- Professor Giovonnoni, Professor Gold , Professor Smith and Dr Jeremy Chataway all gave warmly received and informative talks and held an ‘open discussion’ which has resulted in several patients being referred for possible entry into clinical trials. Lots of your thoughts and positive comments have been received via our evaluation sheets. Another meeting is planned for early spring. Details will be announced here so read your newsletter!

 ***Please note ***
The M.S.T.G will be closed for the Christmas holidays due to the T.A Centre closure. Last date December 12th, reopen on January 9th 2014.

Exercise Tip
Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.
Screw up a sheet of wrapping paper and put it on the floor.
With bare feet push the ball from one foot to the other.
Try to pick up a small ball of paper with your toes, drop and repeat.
Now place the large ball between your feet. Pick up the ball by pressing a foot either side and lifting as high as you can. Repeat.

Finally, Have a wonderful Christmas! From all the M.S.T.G team!

Newsletter – Autmn 2013

Dear all,

Now that summer is on its way out, we are coming into the busiest time of the year for the M.S.T.G which continues to go from strength to strength  and there is plenty on the agenda.

Our fitness Instructor Laurie, having previously been in the army and still a serving Officer in the T.A is currently on ‘Active manoeuvres’ with the regulars. We wish him well and hope to welcome him back safely and soon!

Thanks to Jim Goddard (a very experienced, qualified instructor) for stepping into the breach. Jim was previously involved with the ‘Get Fit’ plan, which was mainly aimed at getting disabled people fitter.

And of course you have all seen a lot more of Natalie, our massage therapist who has introduced waxing and manicures/pedicures to the group. This has proved very popular.

Dr Marianne Kasti, a Consultant Neurologist with Basildon Hospital, has a great interest in MS and was keen to see the group in action so ‘popped in’ and ended up staying the whole session! She gave an informal talk and conducted a question and answer session which was well  received  by both Dr Kasti and patients. She was very impressed by the work in the group and by what the patients were achieving, so much so that she wants to visit on a regular basis. Dates are now being arranged.

Next month Dr Kasti and Elaine have organised  a ‘Research and Information Evening’, to be held on September 30th. Full details attached.  This should be an interesting evening and a chance to meet some experts in the field of MS.

We have a fund raising Indian evening on October 17th. Entertainment provided along with a choice of dishes.

Indian Evening: To be held at Hedley Spice, Warley Gap, Brentwood on October 17th, £25.

Our Annual Dinner Dance on February 8th 2014 – Deposits now being taken for an all-inclusive, great evening for £50.00!


Thank you!

Kulbir Dhingra of MandG insurance for all his help with securing funding which resulted in his company donating our new recumbent bike. Great for back support and easier to ‘board’. Thank you also to Vicky for telling them about us.

Bill Hinchen for all his work on designing our website and Facebook page. Take a look and if you want to advertise anything and let us know.

Sharon and Mark Vaughan for their generous donation of £500.

To all of you who collect coppers and small change for us. The large jar on Elaine’s desk often collects between £40–£60. It really makes a difference!!




Do you keep thinking about coming along to the therapy group but don’t quite get round to it?

Do you think it’s not for you? Will it be scary to come in?  Do you think it “won’t be friendly” or there will be “no-one like you”, that they will all be far worse or better?

Guess what? We aren’t scary (well, maybe Elaine on a bad day but you’re used to her!). There will be people there that are newly diagnosed and people that have living with M.S for decades and many somewhere in the middle! In other words people just like YOU!

The instructors and therapists are friendly and understanding. You will be assessed individually and a suitable exercise programme will be designed for you. Over the weeks we will guide and encourage you to more flexibility, co-ordination, balance and strength.

We also offer sports, therapeutic and lymphatic massage, reflexolgy, foot-care, waxing, manicure and pedicures. So, what are you waiting for? Come along and sit through a session and see for yourself, no commitment. You are so welcome.


Hope that nerve damage in MS could be repaired

By shedding light on how cells regenerate the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibres in the brain, a new study published in Nature Neuroscience opens the door to treatments that could repair nerve damage and restore lost function in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS is a disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys myelin, the protein that insulates the nerves in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve and stops the electrical signals from leaking out. As the myelin is gradually destroyed, patients experience symptoms ranging from mild numbness in the limbs to paralysis or blindness. The disease progresses not just because the immune system gradually destroys the myelin, but also because a natural repair process fails. Cells called oligodendrocytes are able to repair the myelin damage themselves – “remyelination” – but in MS this fails after a while.

There are over 400,000 living with MS in the European Union. There are currently no approved therapies that tackle the disease by promoting regeneration of the myelin.


Two immune cell findings may be important for future therapy

In this latest study, led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge in the UK, researchers describe how they studied immune cells called macrophages, known to be involved in remyelination, and found two important features that could lead to new therapies that promote myelin regeneration:

  1. For remyelination to proceed, macrophages have to become anti-inflammatory
  2. Macrophages release a protein called activin-A that actively encourages remyelination.

First author Dr Veronique Miron, of the Medical Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, says in a  statement:

“Approved therapies for multiple sclerosis work by reducing the initial myelin injury – they do not promote myelin regeneration.

This study could help find new drug targets to enhance myelin regeneration and help to restore lost function in patients with multiple sclerosis.”

For their study, Miron and colleagues examined myelin regeneration in human tissue samples and in mice. They wanted to understand what stimulates remyelination and which biological molecules, cells, or other factors may be involved  that could serve as targets for regenerative treatments that restore lost vision, movement and other functions in people with MS. Previous studies have shown that macrophages – immune cells that gobble up disease pathogens, debris and other undesirable materials, among other things – are also involved in regeneration. For example, there is a group of macrophages called M2 that is essential for regenerating skin and muscle.


Hunt for potential drug targets

So what Miron and the team wanted to find out was whether M2 macrophages were also involved in myelin regeneration, and if so, were there particular molecules involved in stimulating remyelination that could serve as useful drug targets?

On examining a mouse model of human myelin damage and regeneration, the team found that M2 macrophages were present and increased  in number when remyelination started.  This suggests, they say, that M2 macrophages may control remyelination. Previous research had already established that oligodendrocytes are the cells that normally produce the myelin found in the brain  and spinal cord, so Miron and colleagues set about trying to discover if M2 macrophages were able to trigger the oligodendrocytes on  their own, or whether they needed to work with another group of cells or processes. To find out they put some oligodendrocytes in a test tube and exposed them to proteins released by M2 macrophages.

The result was a success. Exposure to M2 macrophage proteins spurred the oligodendrocytes to make more myelin. The researchers also found that when they took M2 macrophages out of the equation, remyelination dramatically reduced, showing they were necessary for myelin to regenerate. This was confirmed in further examinations of mouse models of remyelination, and brain tissue from people with MS.  The researchers found in both cases that high numbers of M2 macrophages are present when remyelination is efficient, and the numbers are vastly reduced when it is not.

The team also found that a protein produced by macrophages, activin-A, contributes to the regenerative effects of M2  macrophages. They found high levels of activin-A in M2 macrophages when remyelination was starting and also when they added the protein to  oligodendrocytes in test tubes they started to make myelin.

To confirm the role of activin-A, the researchers blocked its effect on oligodendrocytes after myelin damage, and discovered the  M2 macrophages were not as able to stimulate them to make more myelin. They conclude that their findings point to a key step in myelin regeneration, namely that when M2 macrophages release  activin-A, they spur oligodendrocytes to make myelin.


Potential for synergistic drugs

The study suggests it may be possible to partner drugs that reduce the initial myelin damage, with ones that regenerate it in the central nervous system and thus restore lost functions in MS patients. The researchers now plan to  look in more detail at how activin-A works and whether its effects can be enhanced.

The study was funded by the MS Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

In another study published earlier this year, researchers described how a new treatment for MS that resets the patient’s immune system was  found to be safe and well tolerated in a small trial.

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD