March is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

 

March is designated as National Multiple Sclerosis Month. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, more than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide. Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not require U.S. physicians to report new cases, and because symptoms can be completely invisible, the prevalence of MS in the U.S. can only be estimated.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder, in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the CNS.

MS can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may come and go or persist and worsen over time. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it.

Caring for someone with MS represents unique challenges. However, there are national organizations that are dedicated to helping caregivers of MS. The following is a listing of resources that may be of assistance. We encourage you to contact the organizations for assistance and support.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Northern CA

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America