Friday, March 02, 2007

MS Walk


So here's my thought, if you're going to have a blog you might as well use it for all that it's worth right?

This year I'm doing the walk for Multiple Sclerosis to do my part in helping to eradicate this debilitating disease (actually I'm volunteering and not walking but that's just semantics). For me, one of the most terrifying things about MS is the idea that it can, and often does, come on suddenly with no rhyme or reason. Those with MS never know from one day to the next, or from one minute to the next for that matter, what to expect from the disease.

Great advances have been made and will continue to be made towards a cure for MS and other demyelinating diseases but there is still so much work that needs to be done. I thank each of you in advance for any donations you make via my personal page or in support of any other walker, biker, hiker etc.

Best Wishes,
Tracy

If you would like more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, how proceeds from the MS Walk are used, or the other ways you can get involved in the fight against MS, please visit the national MS society website.

Click here to visit my personal page and follow my progress.

A brief explanation of MS:
multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic, slowly progressive autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the protective myelin sheaths that surround the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord (a process called demyelination), resulting in damaged areas that are unable to transmit nerve impulses. The disease also gradually damages the nerves themselves. There are elevated numbers of lymphocytes in the cerebral spinal fluid and of T cells in the blood (see immunity).
The onset of MS is usually at age 20 to 40 years, and its many symptoms affect almost every system of the body. There may be visual difficulties, emotional disturbances, speech disorders, convulsions, paralysis or numbness of various regions of the body, bladder disturbances, and muscular weakness. The course of the disease varies greatly from person to person. In some patients, the symptoms remit and return, sometimes at frequent intervals and sometimes after several years. In others the disease progresses steadily.
There is a genetic predisposition to MS, and environmental factors also seem to play some role. The disease is more common in temperate climates (1:2,000) than in the tropics (1:10,000).
There is no cure for MS, but a number of drugs—the first of which became available in the 1990s—can slow its underlying progress and reduce the frequency of attacks. These are Avonex, Rebif, and Betaseron, forms of beta interferon (a synthetic version of a natural substance produced by the immune system); Copaxone (glatiramer acetate); and Tysabri (natalizumab).
See R. Rubinstein, Take It Or Leave It: Aspects of Being Ill (1989); U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, Multiple Sclerosis (1990).

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