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Emerging Therapies: From the Lab to the Clinic

Blog Summary

One of my takeaways from the 2018 ECTRIMS meeting this week is that there are thousands of researchers around the world working hard to figure out what’s going on in MS—from the very basic biology around what causes the damage to research around options for recovering functions. Some of this applied research is discussed in a blog my colleague Kathy wrote, focusing on the impacts of diet on MS. I was especially interested in seeing how basic research around what drives brain repair mechanisms is unearthing more and more targets that present new opportunities for finding key molecules or therapies that will promote nervous system repair...

Diet Matters… and It Matters Now

Blog Summary

Greetings from ECTRIMS, the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS. This is a lion of a meeting–the world’s largest gathering of researchers dedicated to MS. One thing I have noticed is how close MS researchers are getting to the real concerns of people affected by this disease. People with MS have been asking for years about diet–is there a diet that works for MS? Does what you eat matter? The work I’ve seen thus far is beginning to answer these questions (links to the scientific summaries, or abstracts, are provided below)...

Imaginary Pain

Blog Summary

The buzzing throughout my arms, hands, legs and feet had not let up for 3 full days. My annual checkup with my neurologist was just a day away, so I figured, what better timing? I practically danced into the office and was so excited to get some answers about this newfound pain. ​ Enter the man of the hour, and come to find out, it’s… all… in my head? Excuse me?...

Driving My MS

Blog Summary

In early 2009, I decided to buy a new car.  The previous few years had been a whirlwind of events, including the birth of our first child, big career changes, finishing grad school – all sandwiched in with being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis...

Not Pre-Existing

Blog Summary

I can still remember the very last time I called to schedule a blood donation. Donating blood was something I used to do regularly—it was a way I could give back.   But, this particular call was the first time I tried to donate after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And that day, I learned a brand new phrase: “permanent deferral.” It’s an odd phrase, really, and full of a harsh finality...

The Road Ahead

Blog Summary

“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.” - Michael J. Fox   It’s a punch in the gut to hear “your disease is progressing...”

If That Day Comes

Blog Summary

Life is tough. You get thrown curve ball after curve ball, and when you first start to play the game, you might get a black eye, a broken bone or knocked down. You get so frustrated because you just can't play like everyone else. Then one day, you dodge the ball. You catch it and throw it right back. Even if you do it your own way, you manage to play...

When You Have MS, Politics is Personal

Blog Summary

Sincelast summer’s failed congressional efforts to repeal many provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), the hashtag #IAmAPreExistingCondition has peppered countless social media updates. Current and former cancer patients use it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Asthma sufferers post it, too. Ditto for people with diabetes, mental health issues and heart ailments...

Helping Others to Understand

Blog Summary

“I’m exhausted.”   “Oh, me too! I know exactly how you feel! I went to bed really late and haven’t had my coffee yet!”...

MS vs. Airport Assistance

Blog Summary

After our last holiday to Nashville, Tennessee, I had to do something about how I navigate the airport. I could not be ill on this holiday. Not like last time.   I had never heard of “airport assistance” until I came across it on an MS group on social media...

The Adequation Complex

Blog Summary

“One of the most important things to someone with a chronic illness is to be treated as an equal. Having MS does not make me any different than someone who does not.” This was something I used to tell myself every single day since my diagnosis—it got me through the hard times and inspired me to live my highest quality of life. But as I get older and the 4 year anniversary of my diagnosis approaches, I find myself questioning if this is really the case...