May 30 is World MS Day 2019 – a day to globally raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the needs of the people living with the condition.
MyInvisibleMS is this year’s theme, putting the spotlight on the invisible signs of MS, and their unseen impact on quality of life.
MS is a condition of the central nervous system which interferes with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Multiple Sclerosis is characterised by sclerosis – a Greek word meaning scars. These scars occur within the central nervous system and depending on where they develop, can be varied and unpredictable and can manifest into different symptoms, including:
- Motor control – muscular spasms and problems with weakness, coordination, balance and functioning of the arms and legs
- Fatigue – including heat sensitivity
- Neurological symptoms – including vertigo, pins and needles, neuralgia and visual disturbances
- Continence problems – including bladder incontinence and constipation
- Neuropsychological symptoms – including depression, memory loss and cognitive difficulties
MS affects over 25,600 in Australia and more than two million diagnosed worldwide. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can affect younger and older people too. Roughly three times as many women have MS as men.
There is currently no known cure for MS however there are a number of treatment options available to help manage symptoms and slow progression of the disease.