Read about ways to best support your loved one who has multiple sclerosis.
When a friend or loved one is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), most people tend to have a similar reaction: What does this mean?
MS is an unpredictable, often debilitating disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. MS affects at least two to three times more women than men. The cause of MS is unknown and according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there are more than 2.3 million people affected by MS worldwide.
According to Joseph R. Berger, MD, professor of Neurology and MS Division Chief at Penn Medicine, and Michael Pappano, MSW, LCSW, social worker at the Penn MS Center, the first step is to understand that MS is an illness that people can learn to live with.
“Although it can be difficult to take in at first, it’s important to note that MS is not a death sentence,” says Pappano.
Dr. Berger adds that often the perception of the disease is worse than the reality.
Dr. Berger and Pappano explain that while there is no cure for MS, the disease has become highly manageable with therapies that not only accelerate the recovery from new symptoms due to a relapse, but also therapies that decrease the frequency of disease relapses and activity.
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