Multiple Sclerosis, so many people know the words but they are unaware how MS affects a person?
So many people do not know the impact this disease has upon people’s lives. It usually strikes when you are young and your life is in front of you. Worst of all, it is a progressive disease. The impact is different for everyone but inevitably it is devastating.
How has it affected me?
I was diagnosed in 1995 but I am sure it all started in 1972. For the first twenty five years it did not affect me then it went from very mild Relapsing Remitting into Secondary Progressive. The rate of progress was slow and unremiting but it has has had a very profound affect upon me. I had to take medical retirement in January 2012 after going for an interview; fatigue, stamina, drop foot and balance were the obvious problems. There were also more subtle changes to my memory and vision. After the interview I realised that my time as a freelance computer geek was over. It was at that moment that everything changed.
10 facts about this disease
- MS is a disease that affects the brain, optic nerve and the spinal chord
- The number of people with MS is increasing
- The most common symptoms of MS are invisible: fatigue, pain and slow thinking
- MS is the most common neurological condition affecting young people
- MS affects more than twice as many women than men
- MS is not a fatal condition and it is not contagious
- The chances are that an MS sufferer will be unemployable within 10 years of diagnosis
- Most people diagnosed with MS will not need to use a wheelchair on a regular basis
- The divorce rate for MS sufferers is 40% higher than the national average
- The highest occurrence of MS in the world is in The Orkneys
Is the future bright? Yes there is reason to be hopeful but I wish I had foresight. At the moment there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. There are drugs that can slow down the rate of progress for some sufferers. New drugs and combinations of drugs are now being trialled, so yes there is reason to be positive. It is a disease where research is now taking place in many centres. On the other hand Unfortunately there are still many sufferers where there is nothing available to slow down the progress of MS. It is a disease where research is being undertaken all over the world. The cost of developing a new drug is mind boggling. It can take years of research, trials and tests before a new treatment is available for doctors to prescribe. A cure will be found, meanwhile …
Take a look at the following information on MS drug trials
I have been participating in the MS-ASCEND trial. I started in September 2012 and will finish in the summer of 2014, this year. For my irregular diary please click here. Its a double blind placebo trial, I have a monthly infusion. My walking ability seems to be unaffected but my balance and stamina are not as good as they were two years ago.