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Lisa Krzywosinski today became the first patient in Michigan to receive Lemtrada™, a disease-modifying therapy for people with relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Memorial Healthcare’s Rany Aburashed, DO, neurologist with the Institute for Neurosciences & Multiple Sclerosis in Owosso, is the first physician in the State of Michigan to administer this treatment since LemtradaTM became FDA approved.

Lisa Krzywosinski, a resident in the Chesaning area, was diagnosed with MS when she was just 18 years old. Now age 43, Ms. Krzywosinski is fighting to prevent the often debilitating effects of a disease that until just a few years ago was mostly controlled with typical MS medications. Since the birth of her daughter eight years ago, her symptoms have progressed and have become resistant to traditional therapies.

“LemtradaTM attacks Multiple Sclerosis in a unique way, and studies have shown that it is more effective at stopping MS-related relapses and disability progression,” says Dr. Aburashed. “Our hope is that a sub population of patients with active disease will respond to this infusion treatment. Our expectations remain tempered but optimistic that we may be able to alter the way the disease behaves in these patients.”

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, LemtradaTM is given as intravenous infusions – for five consecutive days initially and for three consecutive days as a one-year follow up. Because of its safety profile, the prescribing information indicates that use of LemtradaTM should generally be reserved for people who have had an inadequate response to two or more MS therapies.   “This is not a drug for every MS patient, but in the right case, we are hopeful that it can make all the difference. It is very exciting to be able to offer this treatment in cases where prior medications simply could not slow the disease. Multiple Sclerosis remains a very heterogeneous disease and the more options we have to combat the disease the better off our patients are,” adds Dr. Aburashed.

“The approval of LemtradaTM provides an important and immunologically powerful new therapeutic option for people with relapsing MS,” said Bruce A. Cohen, MD, Professor, Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and Chair of the National MS Society’s National Medical Advisory Committee. “Its long-lasting effects may profoundly influence the course of relapsing MS, but will require careful and sustained monitoring for side effects which people receiving the medicine must follow. Individuals with MS who are considering treatment with this medicine should thoroughly educate themselves on its potential benefits and risks.”

Dr. Rany Aburashed is a board-certified neurologist on staff with Memorial Healthcare in Owosso, Michigan. In March of 2014, Dr. Aburashed was designated as a Partner in Multiple Sclerosis Care – Neurological Care from the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. At that time, Dr. Aburashed was the first neurologist in Michigan to receive the designation which recognizes clinicians who have demonstrated their capability to provide optimal care and support to people with MS.