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1.  A telemedicine meditation intervention for people with multiple sclerosis and their caregivers: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2016;17:4.
Background
Mindfulness-based interventions, modified and shortened versions of meditation teachings, have proved to be effective in the improvement of quality of life in many clinical conditions, including chronic diseases. Preliminary results available in the literature and in clinical experience indicate a high potential for this treatment for the reduction of psychological suffering in people with chronic diseases.
Methods/Design
This randomized controlled trial will investigate the impact of a multiple sclerosis (MS) specific telemedicine meditation intervention on the quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis and their caregivers. This trial will recruit 120 patients, men and women, with a diagnosis of relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive MS and their caregivers to participate in a 2-month intervention. Patients will undergo assessments of quality of life, anxiety, depression, quality of sleep, mindfulness and fatigue levels conducted at baseline, at week 8 (conclusion of the intervention) and at week 27 (6 months follow-up). Caregivers will complete assessments conducted at the same time for the same areas, plus caregiver burden. The intervention condition will consist of 2 hours/week of online meditation in a group setting led by a trainer, plus 1 hour/week of individual exercises. The control condition will incorporate a psycho-education online program and will require the same contact time commitment as the intervention condition.
Discussion
Primary outcome measures will consist of assessments of quality of life, anxiety, and depression level. Assessments of mindfulness level, quality of sleep and fatigue level will be considered secondary outcome measures.
This investigation will increase understanding of the role of meditation as part of a treatment plan for people with MS and their caregivers. Overall, this study design has the potential to lead to effective meditation intervention strategies for this population and improve their quality of life.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials Register NCT02364505. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02364505
doi:10.1186/s13063-015-1136-9
PMCID: PMC4700623  PMID: 26729330
meditation; mindfulness; multiple sclerosis; telemedicine
2.  Exploring the predictive value of the evoked potentials score in MS within an appropriate patient population: a hint for an early identification of benign MS? 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:80.
Background
The prognostic value of evoked potentials (EPs) in multiple sclerosis (MS) has not been fully established. The correlations between the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) at First Neurological Evaluation (FNE) and the duration of the disease, as well as between EDSS and EPs, have influenced the outcome of most previous studies. To overcome this confounding relations, we propose to test the prognostic value of EPs within an appropriate patient population which should be based on patients with low EDSS at FNE and short disease duration.
Methods
We retrospectively selected a sample of 143 early relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients with an EDSS < 3.5 from a larger database spanning 20 years. By means of bivariate logistic regressions, the best predictors of worsening were selected among several demographic and clinical variables. The best multivariate logistic model was statistically validated and prospectively applied to 50 patients examined during 2009–2011.
Results
The Evoked Potentials score (EP score) and the Time to EDSS 2.0 (TT2) were the best predictors of worsening in our sample (Odds Ratio 1.10 and 0.82 respectively, p=0.001). Low EP score (below 15–20 points), short TT2 (lower than 3–5 years) and their interaction resulted to be the most useful for the identification of worsening patterns. Moreover, in patients with an EP score at FNE below 6 points and a TT2 greater than 3 years the probability of worsening was 10% after 4–5 years and rapidly decreased thereafter.
Conclusions
In an appropriate population of early RRMS patients, the EP score at FNE is a good predictor of disability at low values as well as in combination with a rapid buildup of disability. Interestingly, an EP score at FNE under the median together with a clinical stability lasting more than 3 years turned out to be a protective pattern. This finding may contribute to an early identification of benign patients, well before the term required to diagnose Benign MS (BMS).
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-80
PMCID: PMC3488473  PMID: 22913733
Multiple Sclerosis; EP score; Disability prediction; Multivariate analysis; ROC analysis; Benign MS; Evoked potentials

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