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'multiple sclerosis' posts

Social interaction has positive benefits to health and well-being in MS

“Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other is gold.”

As a young child, I can remember singing this tune while jumping rope or skipping around the playground.  At that time I didn’t fully grasp the significance of what I was singing, but now I have come to appreciate and understand that social connection and a sense of belonging is important, not only for emotional and mental health but for physical health as well. 

Numerous studies over the past several decades have consistently shown that social interaction has positive benefits to our health and well-being.  The potential benefits cited in many of these studies include reduced ...

MS on the radio

Pavle Repovic, Neurologist, MD, PhD, at the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center discuses with 91.3 KBCS radio producer the prevalence of MS in our region and what comprehensive care provides for those visiting the MS Center. Two individuals also share their personal experience with diagnosis, treatment and life with MS.  Listen to the five episode series here.

Research update: Ganglion cell layer thickness may predict clinical recovery in acute optic neuritis

Optic neuritis is a common presentation of MS.  Acute inflammation of the optic nerve can lead to transient swelling of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL). Further injury of axons within the optic nerve may lead to degeneration of the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) layer within the macula. RGC layer thickness has been proposed as a measure of neurodegeneration because it is relatively resistant to confounding inflammation. A study was done to track the changes in the retinal layer during a 6-month period in 27 patients with acute optic neuritis to identify patterns of RGC layer changes.

Dealing with MS is different for men

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care for men and women--is it a surprise that their MS health care support needs may differ?  As with many things in life, one should not assume that everyone has the same needs regardless of gender.  The prevalence of MS affects women about 3 times more often than men. And much of what we know, from social support research in MS, has been done with a predominantly female population.  The reality is that men and women do have different needs.  For example, evidence suggests men spend less time focused on their health and participate in fewer health prevention activities (poorer nutrition, higher alcohol and tobacco use) than women. Men also differ than women in how they experience MS and the type of support/interventions required to address their needs. An article from International Journal of MS Care (What Are the Support Needs of Men with MS, and Are They Being Met? ) by Dominic Upton, PhD and Charlotte Taylor, MSc, addresses this subject and more.

One of the aims of the article was to identify support needs of men with MS and evaluate whether these needs were being met by current services. (My conclusion, probably not.)

The article  ...

March Pet of the Month

 
ROSIE and RINGO



Owners:Donna and Ben
Ages: 8 and 4
Breed: Shih Tzu
Favorite toy: Squeaky ball
Favorite snack: Steak
Favorite activity ...

What the Americans with Disabilities Act says about service animals

What does a dog, cat, horse, bird and fish have in common?

These animals and many others share the ability to provide assistance, support, comfort and companionship to humans.  Dogs are the most commonly used animal for therapeutic purposes; however, cats, horses, birds and even fish have been used in this capacity.  There are many benefits to pet ownership that have been well documented including the health benefits of reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, improved physical fitness, improved emotional well-being to name a few.  Many individuals with disabilities have also experienced the benefits of having an animal to assist with specific tasks and/or to provide companionship and support.

More about Vision Assessment in Multiple Sclerosis

In my blog post from last September, I discussed a questionnaire that is being studied to evaluate the visual quality of life in people living with MS, the “NEI-VFQ-25.” This questionnaire, along with vision function tests and tests of optic nerve and visual pathway health, are being used increasingly to assess the quality of vision and vision’s impact on the function and quality of life of those with MS.

Another vision-related test that is being studied in people with MS is called the King-Devick (K-D) test, which is more of a visual performance test than a test of vision itself. The K-D test involves the person reading aloud a list of numbers on three separate cards in order as quickly as possible. The numbers on each successive card become progressively more crowded, making it increasingly harder to read them quickly. The amount of time it takes to read all three cards is the K-D time score. The whole test takes less than two minutes.

Unlike more simple tests of vision (visual acuity, low contrast acuity, color vision, peripheral vision) that are used in evaluating MS, performing well on the K-D test requires  ...

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