Thu, Mar. 20, 2003
Dubbed the ''prime of life'' disease because it typically begins when patients are 20 to 40 years old, MS can in rare cases strike at age 16 or 5. Doctors say women outnumber men 2 to 1. Some research indicates disease has a hormonal as well as a genetic link.
Until about 10 years ago there were no drugs approved for MS. Today there are five: Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, Rebif and Novantrone. All are injectable drugs that carry hefty price tags: $1,000 to $1,500 a month. (Few insurance companies cover the cost.)
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is sponsoring several free events to mark March as National MS Awareness Month.
• Webchat: 8 to 9 p.m. today on MS drug therapies. Go to www.msfocus.org.
• Wellness conference: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Health Professions Division at Nova Southeastern University, 3501 College Ave. in Davie. Topics include alternative and complementary treatments for the management of symptoms. Call 1-888-673-6287 for reservations or more information.
• Women and MS: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 29 at the Diagnostic Treatment Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, 1611 NW 12th Ave. For reservations, call 1-888-673-6287.
ANNUAL WALK: The Annual MS Walk will take place at 9 a.m. March 30 at George English Park in Fort Lauderdale and at Founders Park South in Aventura. Organizers hope to raise $750,000 this year for research and services for those with the disease. For information call 1-800-FIGHT MS or go to www.nmssfls.org.
TO LEARN MORE: Call the South Florida chapter of the National MS Society:
954-731-4224, www.nationalmssociety.org; or the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation:
© Copyright 2003, Miami Herald