Why does Selma Blair’s speech sound slurred?
Whenever a celebrity gets MS and comes out of the ‘closet’ MS trends on social media. When Selma Blair attended the Oscar ceremony on Sunday night walking with a cane it caused quite a stir. You can now watch an interview with her on ABC News. You will notice that she has a slurred speech, which we call dysarthria and she is unsteady on her feet and needs the cane for balance. Her walking problem is called ataxia. It is clear from these signs that she has probably had a brainstem and/or cerebellar attack. This would be due to a so-called posterior fossa lesion, which is considered a poor prognostic sign.
In an interview in Vanity Fair, she talks about starting a monthly infusion therapy, which by inference must be natalizumab. As you are aware natalizumab is one of our most effective maintenance therapies and importantly is in the top league when it comes to disability improvement, i.e. no evident disease activity and disease improvement (NEDADI). As she appears to be quite early on in the course of her disease she has a good chance of some, or most, of her disabilities improving. However, against making a full recovery is the severity of her attack and the fact that she is now 46 an age when recovery mechanisms are known to be below par.
It is really a good sign that she is on a high-efficacy DMT (flipped pyramid) and has not being treated on a low efficacy therapy with the aim of escalating her therapy if and when necessary. Don’t forget time is brain so flipping the pyramid makes sense.
I am interested in knowing if natalizumab is being used as part of DrK’s #AttackMS paradigm (aka #BrainAttack), i.e. to get on top of the inflammation ASAP with natalizumab and to transition onto to another DMT later on if necessary, for example, if she was JCV-positive. I would also be very interested to know if an IRT (alemtuzumab or HSCT) was discussed as a potential treatment option with her?
Whatever you say it takes a brave person to come out and speak in public when you have such a potentially disabling disease and it when MS remains such a stigmatizing disease.