Encouraging Information about Multiple Sclerosis
MS is not contagious, and in general, does not usually shorten one’s life expectancy. Some individuals, particularly those who are significantly inactive, may experience the typical complications of a prolonged chronic illness (such as infection or pneumonia). Living a healthy lifestyle (under the direction of your doctor) in terms of diet, exercise, preventative healthcare, and not smoking, can help you to feel your best.
Since the early 1990s, many long-term treatments and symptom-management therapies have become available – which makes living with MS more controllable and comfortable. A 21-year prospective study of individuals (with relapsing-remitting MS) who began treatment with a disease-modifying therapy early in the disease, found that they experienced a longer lifespan than those who did not begin treatment as early.
Research is ongoing around the world with many new, promising treatments on the way. Several new disease-modifying therapies are either under review by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or are currently in clinical trials for eventually submission to the FDA, with the hope of receiving approval for the long-term treatment of MS.
MSAA is available to provide a number of vital programs and services. In addition to MSAA’s extensive website, these include valuable and understanding phone consultation, informative and motivational publications and MSI online videos, MRI assistance, cooling products, assistive equipment, and shared-management tools. These tools for encouraging patients to take an active role in the management of their MS include: My MS Resource Locator (an extensive database of specialized MS services); My MS Manager™ (a free application for iPhone and Android platforms to help individuals and care partners track details about their MS); and S.E.A.R.C.H.™ (materials to help patients and their healthcare team work together in identifying the most appropriate long-term treatment). MSAA also has a blog, “MS Conversations,” featuring timely, interactive discussions of topics that are important to the entire MS community.