Since 2009, people around the world have marked the last Wednesday of every May in their calendar as World Multiple Sclerosis Day. Launched by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, World MS Day is an annual campaign that supports and connects the 2.3 million people living with MS across the globe with the goal of raising awareness and taking action to end MS.
This year’s World MS Day revolves around the theme of independence. For some people living with MS, independence means not having to rely on others for anything. For others, it means having the freedom of choice, even if one of those choices is accepting the support of others. Every person has their own definition of what independence means to them, and this year we’re celebrating all forms of independence for all people affected by MS.
Today is World MS Day, a day for people around the world to take action, share stories, raise awareness and campaign with and for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. Although Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, MS transcends international borders and impacts the lives of people around the globe. Conceived of in 2009 by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation and growing in strength and reach every year, World MS Day is an opportunity to give the 2.3 million people living with MS a unified voice to tell the world what it means to have MS and what are some ways in which we’re fighting the disease.
MS Research Town Hall is happening this World MS Day – May 27. There is no better day to raise awareness of MS and the important advances that have taken place in research than on World MS Day. MS Research Town Hall is an event that is designed to engage the public in a discussion about MS research and hear the latest updates from the world’s leading scientists and health professionals. One of these experts is Dr. Helen Genova, who conducts research at Kessler Foundation in New Jersey. Dr. Genova is particularly interested in how MS affects a person’s ability to process thoughts, interact with family and friends, and perform common mental tasks. Researchers have a good idea of how MS affects the body, but less is known about how it affects the mind, and Dr. Genova has set out to provide answers that can help people with MS live the best quality of life possible. I had a chance to speak to Dr. Genova to get to know her and her research a bit better.
MS Research Town Hall is only 6 days away, and as the event draws near, I am getting more and more excited to hear from the experts we have invited to take part and share the latest updates in MS research. I recently posted a brief interview I did with Dr. Mark Freedman, who will be discussing the challenges with treating progressive MS and new research in stem cells at the telephone town hall. Today I bring to you my interview with neurologist, scientist and university professor Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dr. Marrie’s research into population patterns of MS, risk factors and the presence and treatment of other co-existing conditions such as heart disease, cancer and depression is critical to inform practices that will more effectively treat people who live with MS and improve their quality of life.
Dr. Marrie brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the table, and I look forward to hearing her discuss the most recent advances in the field of MS. Read further to check out her interview responses.
This World MS Day (May 27), we invite you to take part in the MS Society of Canada’s MS Research Town Hall (formerly known as the MS Research Webinar). This live-streamed event, taking place at 7:30pm Eastern, will feature prominent MS researchers Dr. Mark Freedman from Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Helen Genova from Kessler Foundation and Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie from the University of Manitoba. They will each discuss progress in research in multiple sclerosis with special guest host CBC Radio’s Bob McDonald from Quirks and Quarks. You will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to the researchers and be the first to hear the latest updates in areas such as progressive MS, stem cells, risk factors, and cognition.
I recently sat down with Dr. Freedman to chat about what he is up to in his research and get a sample of what he will be talking about during the telephone town hall.