Multiple Sclerosis – Raising Awareness Through Education
The neurological disorder, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects hundreds of thousands of people in the US and over 2.5 million people worldwide.
This debilitating disorder has no cure, yet through lifestyle choices, education and patient care the quality of the life of someone with MS can be greatly improved. With professional help and understanding from those around them, even more so.
Did you know? Country music star, Clay Walker, is living with MS and balancing the condition with his singing career.
Education to Help Early Diagnosis
Many people have heard of MS however, it may be surprising to comprehend that very few understand anything at all about the biological factors around this disease. Few are aware of the early symptoms such as numbness and tingling of the face, body, arms and legs or blurred and poor vision and in fact just write these off as other ailments.
Then there are those in the early stages of diagnosis who inevitably have many unanswered questions about the “why, where and how”. Why me? Where do I get help? And, how do I attempt to live a normal life?
Educators and medical professionals can help with passing on their knowledge on MS to everyone from school children to patients with MS to family and friends of sufferers.
Public Education for a More Considerate View
The physiological problems experienced by MS sufferers, such as walking, gait difficulties, loss of balance and spasticity leave them vulnerable to comment from those ignorant of their disease. Raising awareness publicly in this respect helps society to be more understanding and sympathetic.
Even friends and family can be over judgmental without the correct information. Knowing that 80% of patients with MS suffer from extreme fatigue aids in their support of loved ones when they are exhausted, weak or in physical pain and consistently cancel appointments,
MS can also leave people feeling really down and depression and mood swings are common. Raising awareness of the emotional challenges and stresses of living with MS and the effects it has on self-esteem results in a more considerate approach.
How to Explain The MS Stats & Facts
Having a thorough grasp of MS is important for all those needing to empower patients and their families.
There are many useful online resources and real life stories that can be used to explain the symptoms in “layman's terms”.
The use of charts and models will help too. It’s not always straightforward to explain to a “non scientist” or “non medic” how the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers.
Life size models can help visually show the insulating covers of the nerve cells and central nervous system and assists in explaining how MS damages these reducing the communication between the brain and nerve pathways.
Recent Advancements in MS – Worth Sharing:
MS patients, their friends and family, will be reassured to hear the good work that is taking place in the research field.
In March 2015, Danish researchers identified a method to measure protein app-M, highly relevant in researching MS, as well as diabetes. App-M carries a small fatty molecule S1P, which plays a part in sclerosis diseases. More work is taking place but this is considered a significant breakthrough and has been recorded in the American Journal of Lipid Research.
$28 million has also been invested by National MS Society to support over 84 new research projects. This contributes to a $52 million total investment pot for 2015 by collaborating organizations with 380 studies globally planned or in development.
The University of Nottingham, in England, is also running a campaign to evaluate new strategies to improve the quality of life for a patient in terms of cognitive rehabilitation.
Professor Lincoln said: "The purpose of our research is to help people with multiple sclerosis boost their everyday memory so they can get on with their lives and do the things that people take for granted…”
There is a real drive to research, restore function and end the suffering of MS all together – join the campaign – help educate and raise awareness too!
Raising Awareness All Year Round
As part of the work carried out by MS Foundation (MSF) and other affiliated groups, the month of March is dedicated to raise public awareness in the US and worldwide regarding MS. Whilst the spotlight focuses on March, there is continued fundraising and campaigning for better and more advanced research all year round.
Why not use the coming months to educate the people around you Multiple Sclerosis?