MONTREAL, May 24, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - May 25 is World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day. It is the ideal occasion to talk about this neurodegenerative disease, which affects three times as many women as men and which is more prevalent in Canada than anywhere else in the world.
A very full month of May!
The Quebec Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada held two events during MS Awareness Month, for which Patricia Paquin is the spokesperson. From May 5 to 7, the MS Carnation Campaign raised public awareness of this disease through the sale of more than 100,000 carnations over the Mother's Day weekend. As well, the Women Against Multiple Sclerosis (WAMS) movement raised $270,167, ending its season on a high note on May 13, with the gala luncheon honouring Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette, P.C.
Finally, the MS Walk, which will be held in 17 towns and cities across Quebec on May 29, will close the MS Society's May activities. That will be the time to take one more step to end MS, in the company of actor Debbie Lynch-White, event spokesperson, who will take part in the Montreal MS Walk.
The funds raised during these activities will finance the work of researchers in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, who are world leaders in MS research, as well as services offered to people affected by the disease.
Research for a future without MS
As neurologist Dr. Marc Girard notes, MS research has made giant steps in the last few years, and now it is time to focus more on progressive MS, a form of the disease for which no medications are available yet. "We are optimistic because, of all the neurological diseases, MS is the one for which research is providing the most tangible results."
Ongoing and future research is working toward three major goals:
- Determine the possible causes of MS; one of the triggers might be a vitamin D deficiency;
- Speed up the discovery of treatments for the progressive form of MS (11 drugs are available to control attacks in relapsing-remitting MS, but there are none for progressive MS);
- Assess the potential of therapy involving mesenchymal stem cells, which are present in many body tissues, for the treatment of MS.
About multiple sclerosis (MS)
Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling, disease affecting the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is one of the most widespread neurological diseases affecting young adults in Canada. It is most often diagnosed in people 15 to 40 years old, who will live with its unpredictable effects for the rest of their lives. The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada provides services for people with MS and their families and supports research with the aim of discovering the cause of this disease and a cure. For more information, visit mssociety.ca.
In addition to our spokespersons, Patricia Paquin and Debbie Lynch-White, and the Executive Director of the Quebec Division, several people who have MS plus a neurologist who specializes in the disease will be available for interviews:
Carolanne Dufresne, from Quebec City
Since she was diagnosed in November 2015, young Carolanne's life has been turned upside-down. But at age 18, she has confidence in research and would like to send a message of hope to everyone in her situation.
Pascale Lavallée, from Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu
Pascale is a young woman in her twenties. After being diagnosed with MS five years ago, she took stock of the disease and decided that she would not let herself be slowed down by its progression. In Asia one day, in Russia the next, Pascale intends to make her dreams come true, no matter what!
The interview will have to be done by Skype or e-mail.
Katia Prévost, from Montreal
Ten years ago, Katia received her diagnosis of MS. It was hard for a young professional 32 years old to say good-bye to her career and learn to live with new constraints. Thanks to her unusually bubbly personality, Katia chose to organize activities for people in the same situation as her.
Dr. Marc Girard, neurologist
Dr. Girard is a neurologist specializing in MS. He is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Neurosciences at Université de Montréal and a research neurologist at the CHUM's MS clinic. He has also been actively involved with the MS Society for several years; among other things, he gives lectures and writes articles for people who have the disease.
SOURCE Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
For further information: Soline Le Martret, Communications Coordinator, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Quebec Division, 514 849‑7591, ext. 2283, [email protected].