Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is proud to participate with the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society in observing MS Awareness Week, March 11–17, 2013. We are pleased to take part in sharing, educating and building awareness about this debilitating disease.
Paralyzed Veterans has more than 66 years of experience in issues related to providing lifelong care for veterans with spinal cord injury or disease and has been dedicated to providing ongoing education to enhance quality of care for veterans with MS.
Through sponsorship of the Summit, our annual educational conference, we bring clinicians across the nation together to enhance multi-specialty care throughout the lifespan of individuals with MS and spinal cord injury. The Summit provides a venue for neurologists, SCI physicians and physiatrists to share best practices.
Paralyzed Veterans also offers numerous publications and fact sheets on MS. Additionally, we provide grants and funding to researchers to continue their effort in making advancements in the understanding and treatment and eventual cure of this disease.
MS is a complex disease that destroys connections in the central nervous system, composed of the brain and spinal cord. It is a chronic and often-disabling disease with varying periods of relapses and remissions from person to person, making the disease extremely unpredictable. There are approximately 400,000 Americans who have MS, and the Department of Veterans Affairs currently serves about 40,000 veterans who have this disease.
Although much is known about how the disease operates in the body once it is contracted, the cause of the disease remains unknown. Additionally, researchers and physicians are not sure why MS develops in some people and others. Many popular theories hypothesize that the disease could be an autoimmune disease or a result from mutated genetics, which could explain the arbitrary nature of MS.
Currently, there is no cure for MS and treatment primarily focuses on strategies to treat MS attacks, manage symptoms and reduce the progression of the disease. Beta interferons seem to slow the progression of the disease and reduce the number and severity of the attacks while some oral medications may reduce the MS attacks and any short-term disability that sometimes results from the disease. Additionally, other oral medications are used to combat the fatigue that sometimes results from the attacks associated with the disease.
Paralyzed Veterans invites you to participate with us in MS Awareness Week and all efforts to better understand the disease.
Learn more about multiple sclerosis (MS)
Lana McKenzie, Associate Executive Director, Medical Services-Health Policy