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Resources and Support for People With Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong condition that can be tough to face alone. Browse information, get help from experts, and find support online. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system. Inflammation and an immune-mediated process causes damage to the myelin that protects the nerves in the spinal cord and brain. This damage produces

  • Posted on 24th May, 2022 16:00 PM
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system. Inflammation and an immune-mediated process causes damage to the myelin that protects the nerves in the spinal cord and brain. This damage produces lesions that can lead to a variety of symptoms.

Symptoms of MS range from mild to severely debilitating. Symptoms include fatigue, pain, blurred vision, numbness, spasticity, difficulty walking, cognitive impairment, and more.

For most people with MS, the disease runs a relapsing-remitting course, meaning people with the disease experience periods where the condition goes into remission, symptoms lessen or disappear, and periods where the disease relapses, causing new symptoms or existing symptoms to become worse.

While there is no cure, there are medications to slow the progression of the disease and treat symptoms.

MS is a lifelong condition that can be tough to face alone. In this article you will learn various resources that can provide support, information, and financial assistance.

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MS Resources

A diagnosis of MS can be overwhelming. You may have a lot of questions and concerns. While your healthcare provider will give you information on the disease, you may need more answers and support.

A variety of groups provide information on living with MS and other resources. These include:

Healthcare Providers and Treatment Facilities

MS is typically treated by an MS specialist or neurologist who specializes in the disease. To find a healthcare provider or treatment center in your area, you may look to one of the resources listed here.

Financial Assistance

Living with a chronic illness can take its toll financially. Many groups offer programs to help:

  • The MS Foundation provides a variety of grants and programs to help cover the costs of treatments, in-home care, and living expenses like rent.
  • The MS Society provides a Find Resources and Doctors tool with a “Financial Assistance” category and direct financial support.
  •  Good Days is a non-profit that provides financial resources for treatments.
  • Drug companies behind MS drugs like Aubagio and Rebif often offer financial programs to help cover copays (a set amount paid per prescription) for their drugs. Visit the website of the medication you’ve been prescribed to find out if they offer a copay program.

Online Support Groups

Connecting with others living with MS can help you navigate the challenges of life with the disease and make you feel less alone. Online support groups can be great resources for information, comfort, education, and inspiration:

  • MSWorld has a forum for people with MS to ask questions, share their stories, and learn about symptoms and treatments.
  • Patients Like Me provides a place to connect with peers also living with MS.
  • The MS Foundation has a Facebook group where people can share their experiences and ask questions in a supportive environment.
  • MyMSTeam is a social network to connect with others living with MS. Here you can find emotional support and information about living with the disease.
  • Multiplesclerosis.net hosts an online community where people with MS can connect with others and find more information about the disease.

Patient Blogs

Patient blogs are written by people with MS. Many provide information and a candid look at what it’s like to live with the disease:

  • My New Normals: Nicole Lemelle writes about her diagnosis, advocacy, and life with MS.
  • Tripping on Air: Ardra Shephard talks openly and humorously about her life with MS. She also shares pertinent information on symptoms, treatment options, and more.
  • Momentum Magazine: The MS Society has a blog and magazine that provide information on living with the disease and spotlight different people with MS.
  • Girl with MS: Caroline Craven has lived with MS for over 20 years. She shares bits of her journey and advice on how to live well with the disease.

MS Research

Research for MS is ongoing. Clinical trials look at potential treatments, while other research looks for the cause of the disease and possible cures:

  • The National MS Society provides a search tool for people looking to participate in clinical trials.
  • Race to Erase MS, through its Center Without Walls program, funds and supports research into the cause and treatments of MS.
  • The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are the leading funders of research into neurological disorders, including MS.

Summary

People living with MS can find resources through various foundations, societies, personal blogs, and online support groups. Financial resources also exist to help people navigate life with the disease. Clinical research is ongoing into treatments and a cure.

A Word From Verywell

MS can often be an invisible disease making it hard for others to fully understand the hardships of living with the condition. Seeking support and camaraderie from MS groups, social media, and blogs on the disease can help you feel less alone.

Non-profits can help you find the resources you need to navigate life with the disease. They can help with everything from finding a specialist and a treatment center to accessing financial support to a local in-person support group, as well as information about various treatment options and what to expect with the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does the MS Society help with?

    The MS Society can help you navigate every aspect of life with the disease, from finding a healthcare provider to providing financial support to offering support groups and educational events. 

  • How common is multiple sclerosis?

    MS affects around 400,000 people in the U.S. and approximately 2.5 million worldwide.

  • Can I claim disability allowance for MS?

    Some people who are unable to work due to MS may be able to claim disability and receive benefits.

  • How can I provide support to someone with MS?

    Though MS is an unpredictable disease that affects everyone differently, it does not change who a person is. Continue treating the person with MS the way you always have.

    Ask how they’re doing, learn more about the disease, so you understand what they’re going through, offer to help with everyday tasks, and be understanding if their symptoms prevent them from doing activities you once enjoyed doing together.

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