More MS news articles for July 1999

Engaging New Children's Workbook Makes Sense of Multiple Sclerosis

Thursday July 8, 7:00 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Berlex Laboratories, Inc.

MONTVILLE, N.J., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A parent's chronic illness can be a frightening event for a child. To address and eliminate some of the fears of coping with one such illness, multiple sclerosis (MS), kids have a friendly new tool. Nervo to the Rescue: A Guide To Understanding MS for Kids and Their Parents is a colorful, 12-page workbook developed by Berlex Laboratories with technical assistance from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Nervo uses funny characters, word puzzles, and art projects to help kids cope with their parents' disease.

"Now, when parents wonder about how they should address their children's MS-related fears, such as disability or the family's altered lifestyle, they have something tangible to help initiate the dialogue," said Howard Robin, Vice President and General Manager, Berlex Laboratories, Inc. "Producing this book was extremely rewarding because it fulfills an unmet need for people with MS and their families."

Why Kids Need MS Information

NMSS consultant and comprehensive care specialist Deborah Miller, Ph.D., LISW, provided counsel on Nervo during its development.

Dr. Miller stressed the importance of using realistic dialogue, beliefs, and situations. She also helped ensure that the workbook supported its theme: kids need to know what's going on with a parent with MS.

"Children are very attentive, and they notice things," said Dr. Miller. "If Mom's energy level has changed, if Dad walks differently, or if that parent is spending more time in the doctor's office, the child will naturally try to make sense of the situation. However, the child may come up with an explanation that is far worse than what's really happening."

Dr. Miller suggests talking about MS as situations arise. "Kids are generally interested in the here and now, so that's the best way to introduce the subject. A parent could begin by saying, 'I'm starting a new medicine today,' and then talk about MS in that context."

Miller also emphasizes that families should make MS a part of day-to- day life. "If MS gets shoved into the background and ignored, it becomes like a 1000-pound white elephant sitting in the middle of the living room. While it shouldn't be the focus of one's life, people who do best are those who think of MS as a part of their normal way of being."

Books Available through Local Resources

Obtaining a free copy of Nervo to the Rescue is easy. You can call your local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, or contact MS Pathways at 800-788-1467.

About Multiple Sclerosis and Berlex Laboratories

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain, spinal cord, and/or optic nerve. MS affects over a third of a million people in the U.S. alone, and is the most common neurologic disease of young to middle-aged adults.

Typical MS symptoms can include: abnormal fatigue, weakness or paralysis of limbs, numbness, vision problems, speech difficulties, problems with walking or motor skills, bladder problems, emotional or cognitive changes, and sexual dysfunction.

Committed to developing novel therapeutics that address unmet medical needs, Berlex Laboratories, Inc. researches, manufactures, and markets ethical pharmaceuticals in three strategic areas: Diagnostic Imaging, Female Healthcare, and Therapeutics for life-threatening and disabling diseases. Berlex business divisions are located in Montville and Wayne, New Jersey, and Richmond, California. Please visit the company's websites at and

SOURCE: Berlex Laboratories, Inc.