Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How You Can Cope with the Unpredictable

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How You Can Cope with the Unpredictable

Article excerpt

Someone once said that the only predictable thing about multiple sclerosis is its unpredictability. Around 85,000 people in the UK who have MS would say that is spot on.

Why does this woman spend most of her life in a wheelchair while that one, diagnosed at the same age, shows no visible sign of anything being wrong? Why did that man, who walked to and from work yesterday, wake up this morning unable to stand or maybe even to see?

MS is the most common potentially disabling neurological disease affecting young adults in the western world. It strikes usually, but not always, in the prime of life between 20 and 40.

It affects twice as many women as men. Some symptoms, like loss of mobility or sight, can be very evident, others, like fatigue and incontinence, less so.

This year's national MS Week starts on April 22 and 23 with a convention and exhibition at G-Mex in Manchester, the largest event of its kind staged in the UK.

Visitors will be able to hear about the latest developments in medical research, meet the experts and gather information on everything from support services and mobility to employment and leisure. Local MS Week events, including the popular Cake Break, will be taking place across the country.

We know what happens in MS but cause and cure remain elusive. It is a huge challenge for researchers delving deep into the complexity of genetic and environmental factors which may be involved.

It also challenges those involved in supporting people with MS. On the one hand there is the need for high quality respite and palliative care for those most severely affected, on the other the need for better understanding so that employment and other opportunities are not denied those well able to grasp them.

The MS Society has embraced these challenges for more than 50 years. It is one of the main groups which pay for research into the disease, with a commitment of more than pounds 11m to over 50 projects across the UK. …

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