All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for August 2003

Experts offer answers for newly diagnosed MS patients, families

Monday, August 04, 2003
Marge Kullerstrand
NWI Times
Times Staff Writer

A family member's worst fears have been confirmed by the doctor -- a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis -- bringing with it many questions and concerns. The Indiana State Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has stepped in to offer a free educational program targeted at individuals newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and their families.

Moving Forward After Diagnosis, sponsored by MS Active Source, Serono and Pfizer, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lake County Public Library, 1919 W. 81st Ave., Merrillville. Registration is required.

"We are bringing in three speakers for the program," said Dawn Czarnik, community development manager with the Northwest Indiana chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

"The speakers are Amy Perrin Ross, a neurological nurse, who will speak about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options in MS. Dr. Eric Bell, a psychologist, will discuss the emotional aspects of having MS, and James Jorgensen, attorney, will speak on employment issues regarding MS," she said.

When people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, they often have many questions. This program is specially designed to inform newly diagnosed individual about the disease, employment rights, emotional aspects of having MS and services and programs of the National MS Society, according to Czarnik.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as blindness or paralysis.

Some progress is being made. Ten years ago no FDA-approved drugs were available to help slow the progression of the disease, and today, there are five, according to the society.

For more information on the National MS Society or to register for Moving Forward After Diagnosis, call (800) FIGHT-MS, (800) 344-4867.

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