More MS news articles for June 1999

MS Association Offers 'Cool' Way to Beat Summer Heat

Thursday June 17, 2:05 pm Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Multiple Sclerosis Association of America

CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer weather begins, officials from the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) proudly announce the expansion of its national cooling program.

According to MSAA Executive Director Douglas Franklin, the organization will purchase and loan, free of charge, an increased supply of "cool suits" to help MS individuals cope with summertime heat and humidity. To become eligible for the service, people with MS must submit a doctor's prescription for a cool suit, and be a member of MSAA. For more information, call MSAA at 1-800-LEARN MS.

Studied by researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a passive cool suit is a vestlike garment containing ice or frozen gel packs that produce a cooling effect on the body. This temporary effect provides relief against heat stress -- a major factor in exacerbating the condition of MS, according to the Association.

"Research suggests that a rise in body temperature in heat-sensitive MS individuals often results in an increase in MS symptoms, especially fatigue," Franklin said. "By wearing a cool suit, many of our members can venture outside to go shopping or attend a family picnic. Without this type of relief, most would be trapped indoors all summer." Beyond loaning cool suits, MSAA currently hosts a site of a national research project with NASA. This scientific study will examine the use of acute and chronic cooling therapy on those with MS.

Multiple sclerosis is a crippling disease of the central nervous system affecting a reported half-million Americans. Common symptoms include blindness, numbness, loss of mobility, fatigue, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and spasticity. At present, there is no known cause or cure for MS.

MSAA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those with MS. In addition to the cooling program, which is featured in the current MSAA newsmagazine The Motivator, agency services include peer counseling, free loan of medical devices, support groups, educational literature, referrals, and more. Call 1-800- LEARN MS or access on the Internet.

SOURCE: Multiple Sclerosis Association of America