49 msfocusmagazine.org MS Focus Activities Oct. 19, 2017 – Atlanta An Update on Injectable Medications Dr. Ben Thrower took the stage at our October event at the Shepherd Center to go into detail about the current state of injectable DMTs. “We see a relationship between the effectiveness of a drug and the size of the dose. The higher the doses always seem to be more effective, but those higher doses come with more risks. Tysabri comes with a 4 in 10,000 risk for PML. Is that worth the risk? I can’t answer that. It will always depend on the patient.” Sponsored by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Acorda, Novartis, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Dec. 6, 2017 – Thousand Oaks, Calif. Living Well With MS Cherie Binns travelled out to the West Coast for back-to-back events for communities in California. “It makes a big difference when you teach others that might be scared because they have a new diagnosis, that that isn’t the end of their life. If I had given up 42 years ago, or when I went blind, I wouldn’t be here to talk to you. It really can be dark at times, but each of you sheds a little light on that subject, so let your light shine.” Dec. 12, 2017 – Atlanta MS Trivia Holiday Style Dr. Ben Thrower wrapped up a year of events with some fun by presenting his annual trivia contest: “Who Wants To Be A Myelin-aire?” “Some theorize that autoimmune diseases like MS are partially due to a ‘bored’ immune system. The Hygiene Hypothesis states that the human immune system evolved over thousands of years with a job of protecting us from external threats (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and internal threats (precancerous cells). External threats are less common due to fewer parasitic infection, antibacterial soaps and lifestyle factors. So, now our immune systems are all dressed up with nothing to defend us from. Could this lead to a higher likelihood of attacking normal tissue resulting in an autoimmune disease?” Sponsored by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals. [TAKEAWAYS