World Multiple Sclerosis Day – May is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) month. Most of us know someone who has or has been effected by this disease. If you weren’t already aware, World Multiple Sclerosis Day is on the 30th of May. Two million three hundred thousand people are living with MS around the world.
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, with an estimated 100,000 Canadians living with the disease. While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 15 to 40, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with the disease.
Many are probably living with MS without knowing it. Every 5 hours there is a new diagnosis of MS in Canada and while treatment has improved in recent years, few with MS are able to find work. By drawing attention to MS, hopefully it will lead to a better life and better opportunities for those with this disease.
MS is currently classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system .The disease attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves. This causes inflammation and often damages the protective covering. Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibers. If there is damage to the myelin cover, nerve impulses will have minor interruptions to complete interruptions depending on the amount of damage.
MS can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, and cognitive impairment and mood changes. Its effects can be physical, emotional and financial. Currently there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more about what causes MS and are zeroing in on ways to prevent it. (MS society)
Although much progress has been made, many questions regarding MS remain unanswered.
Each person’s experience with MS will be very different. Managing the disease will also be different for each person depending on their disease course prior health status, and lifestyle. Life with MS can be challenging and its effects can have a significant impact on those with the disease, their loved ones and their caregivers.
Lots of research is being done on various aspects of MS. The MS society has funded $175 million since 1948 when it was started. Still nothing seems fast enough when it is you or a loved one dealing with the disease.
A Symptom management and quality of life study was funded and completed at the end of this past march. (Audrey Hicks McMaster University)
This study looked at implementation of the new Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (PAGs) for Adults with Multiple Sclerosis. This physical activity research has gained a great deal of attention recently for its potential to help people with MS manage their symptoms. Dr. Hicks has completed testing on 69 participants to date, and discovered that participants that adhered to PAGs 75% of the time (during the 16 week study period) experienced significantly improved strength, reduced fatigue, and improved mental and physical health-related quality of life.
Sure we would rather have a cure or better still prevention but for now quality of life is so important. Worth looking at.