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'multiple sclerosis' posts

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  ...

Country Music Artist Clay Walker Visits the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Country music artist, Clay Walker, visited the Swedish MS Center last Tuesday, touring the clinic with medical director, James Bowen. Having been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS 19 years ago, Clay was interested in learning more about comprehensive care for MS. After researching MS Centers around the country, Clay decided to visit a handful of centers that offer the best comprehensive programs.

Walker believes an emphasis on non-medical aspects of the disease could benefit patients. He was particularly interested in learning about the MS Center’s physical rehabilitation program and wellness offerings including, gym access with specialized equipment for MS patients, exercise training, Pilates, and Yoga. Walker was also eager to learn about the MS Center’s emotional wellness offerings including psychology, psychiatry, support groups, music and pet therapy, and the annual art show. Other areas covered during his tour were elements of community wellness including social work, vocational counseling, workshops on stress management, and social events such as the MS Center summer BBQ and winter seasonal celebration. These programs assist with keeping individuals with MS involved in the broader community.


The country star’s visit happened to coincide with one of the MS Center’s regularly scheduled music therapy sessions.

HPV vaccination and risk of MS

As long as the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) remains unknown, it will be tempting – for patients and doctors alike – to search for an explanation among events that occurred before the diagnosis. This approach, known from antiquity as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after the fact, therefore because of the fact), though sometimes successful, can also be misleading. History of science in general, and multiple sclerosis in particular, is rife with such fallacies. It is important to remember then, that this approach is best thought of as “brainstorming”, generating potential leads, but (almost) never the definitive proof.

Sensory integration balance training in patients with multiple sclerosis

There is increasing evidence that impairment of the sensory system in multiple sclerosis contributes to balance and gait disorders. The majority of the disruption of sensation comes from spinal cord lesions. MS spinal lesions have a propensity to affect the posterior portion of the spinal cord. This involves the Posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway (PCML) (also known as the dorsal column-medial lemniscus pathway) that conveys localized sensations of fine touch, vibration, two-point discrimination, and proprioception (position sense) from the skin and joints. It transmits information from the body to the postcentral gyrus of the cerebral cortex (brain).

A recent research article, “Sensory integration balance training in patients with multiple sclerosis: A randomized, controlled trial”, highlights that rehabilitation targeted to this issue may help:

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