Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS)

Welcome Letter from ACTRIMS President on MSVirtual2020

Members of the Media, 

Newswise — It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 8th joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS conference. This conference, MSVirtual2020, is the largest conference dedicated to multiple sclerosis (MS) research and our first virtual conference.  While we will miss seeing you in-person, we do look forward to interacting with you and furnishing interviews via phone and video conference.  

We have an exciting program for you, with world class scientists and clinicians presenting the latest research, clinical trial outcomes, new and promising therapeutics, breakthroughs and new cutting edge technologies in MS. 

More specifically, during MSVirtual2020, you will hear about:

  • Cutting-edge research into the cause of MS, ranging from epigenetics and genetic factors, to defining the intricate immunological and pathological pathways that inform drug discovery and therapeutic interventions. 
  • Radiological advances and machine learning approaches and how these techniques can help us better understand MS.
  • Biomarkers of disease activity and response to therapy, which is critical for the future of personalized medicine in MS. 
  • The outcomes of recent clinical trials of new agents and interventions, innovations in symptomatic and rehabilitative therapy, and current research on MS and COVID-19.

As registered members of the media, you will have access to the full program including plenary sessions, invited speakers and platform presentations, and industry supported satellite symposia. Should you miss a presentation, it will be available 24 hours after broadcast for you to view. 

We have also planned some media-only press events so that you can have the exclusive opportunity to speak with myself, my fellow ACTRIMS and ECTRIMS leaders, and late-breaker investigators. The press managers are available to help you arrange interviews with participating presenters, scientists and clinicians.

The main program will take place September 11-13. We are also hosting a special program on Saturday, September 26th that will feature the late breaker presentations and a special session on the Impact of COVID on MS Research, Clinical Practice, and Care. For your convenience and so you have more direct time with investigators, we have planned a media-only event on Friday, September 25th at 9:00 a.m. ET where we will host a live Q&A with the late-breaking investigators. To help you prepare for this Q&A, the abstracts will be available to media on Thursday, September 21st Reach out to the press managers if you are interested in advanced copies. 

Again, we are pleased you have taken an interest in the MSVirtual2020 program and look forward to working with you to furnish you with what you need to write your stories and cover our conference. 


Jeffrey A. Cohen, MD

ACTRIMS President

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Newswise: New Landmark Study at UM School of Medicine Finds Aspirin Use Reduces Risk of Death in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
Released: 22-Oct-2020 2:40 PM EDT
New Landmark Study at UM School of Medicine Finds Aspirin Use Reduces Risk of Death in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
University of Maryland Medical Center

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were taking a daily low-dose aspirin to protect against cardiovascular disease had a significantly lower risk of complications and death compared to those who were not taking aspirin, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM).

Released: 22-Oct-2020 2:25 PM EDT
Tocilizumab doesn't ease symptoms or prevent death in moderately ill COVID-19 inpatients
Massachusetts General Hospital

The drug tocilizumab (Actemra) does not reduce the need for breathing assistance with mechanical ventilation or prevent death in moderately ill hospitalized patients with COVID-19, according to a new study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Released: 22-Oct-2020 2:10 PM EDT
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that nursing homes "never needed" to accept patients who tested positive for COVID-19, but they did accept them

According to a report from the New York State Department of Health, "6,326 COVID-positive residents were admitted to [nursing home] facilities" following Cuomo's mandate that nursing homes accept the readmission of COVID-positive patients from hospitals. Therefore we rate his claim as false.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 2:10 PM EDT
U of M trial shows hydroxychloroquine does not prevent COVID-19 in health care workers
University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Medical School physician researchers studied hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to prevent COVID-19 for those with high-risk for exposure to the virus - health care workers.

Newswise: UNLV Physician: Why COVID-19 Makes Flu Shots More Important Than Ever
Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:50 PM EDT
UNLV Physician: Why COVID-19 Makes Flu Shots More Important Than Ever
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

As the race for a COVID-19 vaccine intensifies, health care officials are reminding the public not to forget another important vaccine this fall: the flu shot. Flu season in the U.S. technically began in September, with illnesses expected to peak in December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Less than half of Americans received a flu vaccine during the 2019-2020 flu season, and a staggering 405,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths were attributed to influenza.

Newswise: 246630_web.jpg
Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:45 PM EDT
Immune response the probable underlying cause of neural damage in COVID-19
University of Gothenburg

It is probably the immune response to, rather than the virus in itself, that causes sudden confusion and other symptoms from the nervous system in some patients with COVID-19. This is shown by a study of cases involving six Swedish patients, now published in the journal Neurology.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:35 PM EDT
COVID-19 study: Meaning in life and self-control protect against stress
University of Innsbruck

Numerous studies over the last few weeks have pointed out that the effects of the Corona pandemic on people's mental health can be enormous and affect large parts of the population.

Newswise: Hackensack Meridian CDI, University of Michigan Demonstrate Better, Faster COVID-19 Antibody Testing
Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:30 PM EDT
Hackensack Meridian CDI, University of Michigan Demonstrate Better, Faster COVID-19 Antibody Testing
Hackensack Meridian Health

A new portable “lab on a chip,” developed by the U-M scientists and demonstrated with help of the CDI, can identify the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in blood donors with greater speed and efficiency

Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:10 PM EDT
Relieving the cost of COVID-19 by Parrondo's paradox
Singapore University of Technology and Design

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly across the globe at an alarming pace, causing considerable anxiety and fear among the general public.

Newswise: COVID-19 infection may be part of a ‘perfect storm’ for Parkinson’s disease
Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:00 PM EDT
COVID-19 infection may be part of a ‘perfect storm’ for Parkinson’s disease
Van Andel Institute

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Oct. 22, 2020) — Can COVID-19 infection increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease?

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