Research has brought progress in treating and managing MS
TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/
- May is MS Awareness Month -- a month when 80 more people in Canada will
learn they have multiple sclerosis.
While multiple sclerosis remains a mysterious disease, research advances in the past few years have brought treatments for one type of multiple sclerosis and studies are underway to find therapies that will benefit all people with MS.
It is increasingly important that the public is aware of this often disabling disease of the central nervous system since treatments are now available and appear to be more helpful in the early stages.
"There is increasing evidence that treating MS early has a positive impact. Treatments appear to be more effective in the stage of MS when there are active attacks and before the disease leads to progressive disability," said Dr. William J. McIlroy, national medical advisor, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
There are four therapies approved in Canada for treating relapsing-remitting MS, and one is approved for the form of MS called secondary-progressive.
The MS Society continues to be a leader in funding MS research in Canada. Earlier this year, the MS Society approved nearly $3.3 million for 14 research projects and 46 research scholarships. Half of the research projects focus on how myelin can be repaired or regrown. Myelin is the vital protective covering of the central nervous system damaged in MS.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada also provides services to people with MS and their families in the areas of information, funding and support.
"It can be frightening when someone is newly diagnosed with a disease they may never have even heard of before. The MS Society is the source for accurate, up-to-date information as well as many other programs of support," said Jon Temme, vice-president, individual and family services.
Throughout May, MS Society volunteers will be taking part in MS awareness activities and fund raising events.
Members of Parliament received carnations when they entered the House of Commons for Question Period, Wednesday, May 2. This event kicked off the 25th annual MS Carnation Campaign, which takes place in communities across Canada May 10, 11 and 12.
Other activities throughout the month include flag raisings in many communities, proclamations by mayors, local fund raising events and public information sessions. For more information, contact MS Society division offices at 1-800-268-7582. For more information about multiple sclerosis, go to www.mssociety.ca. Donations to MS research can be made online by clicking on "Give Now".
is a disease that randomly attacks the central nervous system, affecting
the control people have over their bodies. Canada is a high risk area for
MS, which is usually diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 to 40.
Its effects last for the rest of their lives.