Wednesday 29 May 2013

World MS Day

Today, may 29th, is multiple sclerosis (MS) day. Held annually at the behest of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, the campaign is taking place for the fifth time this year and aims to educate the public on the nature of the condition and its impact on the lives of sufferers.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological disorders and causes of disability in young adults. It is found in every country in the world, where epidemiological data exists. It affects an estimated two million people worldwide, although it is likely that many hundreds of thousands more remain undiagnosed*. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 31, with approximately twice as many women diagnosed than men. It is not yet known what causes the disease, and as yet there is no cure.

The severity of the course of MS as well as the symptoms can vary widely among individuals. These can include blurred vision, weak limbs, tingling sensations, unsteadiness and fatigue. For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission, while for others it has a progressive pattern. Some people may feel and seem healthy for many years following diagnosis, while others may be severely debilitated very quickly. For everyone, MS makes life unpredictable.

In terms of the actual day, summary of what’s going on in a few countries this year:
  • The Brazilian Association of MS (ABEM) will celebrate World MS Day with lunch and live music at ABEM HQ and a TV appearance by neurologist Liliana Russo.
  • Cyprus MS Association will hold a press conference in Nicosia.
  • MS Society of Canada will illuminate Niagara Falls in red from 9 to 10.30pm. They’re also organising a social at the local Crowne Plaza overlooking the Falls to watch the spectacle.
  • The Finnish MS Society is organising a festival in Helsinki for World MS Day. Singer Saija Varjus will perform at the event which will be hosted by MP Jani Toivola. Other activities will include an acrobatics performance and a solidarity chain in the form of ‘MS’.
  • The MS Society of Norway will hold a conference on disability and employment in Oslo. Politicians and representatives of health authorities, labour unions and disability organisations are expected to attend the conference. Visit the Society’s website for details.
  • Swedish MS Foundation is holding an information event in Lund, Sweden. Click here to look at the event programme and to register for the event.
  • AEDEM will be forming chains of solidarity in Madrid and other major cities in Spain to mark World MS Day 2013. Their young persons group AEDEM Young will also encourage young people to join their ‘The Missing Piece is You’ campaign and raise awareness on social media. 

For further details, see the official campaign site

Posted by Tim Sandle

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