Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world, with an estimated 100,000 Canadians living with the disease.
While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 15 to 40, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with the disease.
The MS Society is holding a free information session for those affected by MS on Tuesday, Oct. 18 in the Deni House education room adjacent to Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
People with MS, their family, friends, and health care professionals are welcome to attend the event which takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Sherry Wezner, program and services co-ordinator with the MS Society of Canada will be discussing programs and services provided by the society and will be available for one on one meetings with people between 2:30 to 4 p.m.
“We are here to help,” Wezner says. “In communities across Canada, the MS Society provides information, support, educational events and other resources for people living with MS and their families.”
Janice Breck, with Canadian Mental Health Association, (CMHA) will be there to provide an overview of the resources provided by CMHA.
Pre-registration is required.
People interested in attending the information session and/or meeting with Wezner are asked to call 1-800-268-7582 extension 7299 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The MS society reports that MS is currently classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord).
The disease attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin.
Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibres. If damage to myelin is slight, nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions; however, if damage is substantial and if scar tissue replaces the myelin, nerve impulses may be completely disrupted, and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged.
MS is unpredictable and can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.
Its effects can be physical, emotional and financial. Currently there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more about what causes MS and are zeroing in on ways to prevent it.