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News and Opinions about MS, Health & Disability

MS Walk discount for early registration

Every charity associated with any kind of disease, disorder or other health issue always needs to raise money. This may be used for all-important research, much need care, or raising public awareness.

Multiple sclerosis societies in countries all over the world are no different in this respect. Their work all needs money.

The UK’s MS Society is holding one of its major fundraising events, the popular MS Walk, in September. And there is a special offer for anyone who wants to take part.

So, anyone planning to signi up to join the walk should do so by this Wednesday, that’s July 12. That way they can take advantage of a 20% discount on the cost of the registration fees. These are £15 for adults, £7 for under 18s and free for five years and under.

ms walk

Having fun at last year’s MS Walk. (Pic: MS Society).

Helen, of the society’s community and events team, says: “Registration is now open for the annual MS Walk and for one week only, we’ve got a special offer on our sign-up fees! As the offer is only open until the July 12, so you need to be quick to avoid disappointment.”

Furthermore, anyone who wants to walk, roll or stroll, every step will take the society closer to its goal.

Hundreds of MS Superstars, friends and families, will join forces in London to take in the sights and raise funds to stop MS.

Both the MS Walk’s short and medium routes are fully accessible and all three start and finish in Battersea Park. At the end of the challenge the society will celebrate everyone’s achievement with food, drinks, music and fun in the park.

The three routes are:

  • Short / 6km route – Fully accessible
  • Medium / 10km route – Fully accessible
  • Long / 20km route – Please get in touch with the society if you’d like to find out more about the accessibility of this route.

Helen continues: “MS Walk is fun for the whole family. They can walk or wheel one of three picturesque London routes on Sunday September 24.

“Last year, Paralympic swimmer and MS Society Ambassador, Stephanie Millward, walked with us. Stephanie lives with MS, and wasn’t sure about taking part.”

MS Walk ‘believe you can’

Stephanie was made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. She explains: “When I was asked to attend the MS Walk, I thought ‘Me? Can I do a five, 10 or 20 kilometre walk? No chance. I would never be able to do that.’ But then I thought ‘yes – you can do anything if you believe you can’.”

If you feel inspired to join in the fun and help the MS Society turn the streets of London orange this September, register now.

And don’t forget to sign up by Wednesday to take advantage of the special offer to gain a 20% discount!

To register go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ms-walk-2017-registration-34660345025 and use the code MSW20 to get the 20% discount.

After signing up, all participants will receive:

  • An MS Society orange t-shirt
  • An event day pack with detailed maps and information
  • An invitation to a fantastic post-event celebration in Battersea Park
  • Lots of tips and advice from the MS Society team to help them raise as much as they can
  • Support on the day from MS Society staff and volunteers

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Medical News Today. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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MRI – Keeping calm and relaxed in the tunnel

MRI scanners and, in particular, how to cope with them, is somethi.ng t hat concerns many people as they prepare to be scanned.

mriGoing into the scanner’s tunnel can be intimidating in advance and frightening when inside. Never mind that it is open at both ends, the closeness of the tunnel can soon put your brain in overdrive. You can worry about the nearness of the tunnel and about getting out.

Anyone who, like me, has multiple sclerosis will have to cope with MRI scans, perhaps every few months. Does it get easier? For some, yes. But not for all.

People who experience claustrophobia might never get used to the enclosed MRI scanner but the good news is that there are now ‘open’ MRI machines that give the person being scanned a feeling of openness and can reduces stress. However, open scanners are not available everywhere,

My own experience has been limited to the more traditional closed scanners.

To see or not to see

Operators of these machines sometimes place a mirror so that the patient can see out of the tunnel. That may help alleviate the concerns of some but not all as they still see out via the tunnel. Others may prefer to close their eyes and practice relaxation techniques to help keep themselves calm and peaceful.

The Maximov centre in Moscow.

My most recent MRI scan took place almost nine months ago during a short stay at the AA Maximov centre that provides haematopoietic (hematopoietic = American spelling) stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in Moscow.

There, I felt totally at ease when I was slid into the tunnel. As there was no mirror, instead of looking at the tunnel’s ‘ceiling’ only a few inches away I chose to close my eyes and ignore what was going on around me.

Now MRIs are not the quietest machines in the world, as anyone who has been scanned, can tell you. But my relaxation was so effective that I fell asleep. I tuned out the noises of the scanner, drifted off to sleep only to wake myself up by snoring. And not just once.

MRI noise

Why are MRI scanners so noisy?  The California Institute of Technology explains: “An MRI is noisy because its magnetic field is created by running electrical current through a coiled wire—an electromagnet. When the current is switched on, there is an outward force all along the coil. And because the magnetic field is so strong, the force on the coil is very large.

“When the current is switched on, the force on the coil goes from zero to huge in just milliseconds, causing the coil to expand slightly, which makes a loud “click.” When the MRI is making an image, the current is switched on and off rapidly. The result is a rapid-fire clicking noise, which is amplified by the enclosed space in which the patient lies.”

Somehow, despite all that noise, I managed to enter the world of dreams three times during more than an hour in the machine. It seems I was relaxed.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Medical News Today. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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European Medicines Agency recommends licence for cladribine (Mavenclad)

cladribine

The European Medicines Agency has approved cladribine (brand name Mavenclad) for use with multiple sclerosis.

The agency has recommended that a licence should be granted, by the European Commission, for the treatment of highly-active relapsing MS. Cladribine is currently an anti-cancer drug under the brand names Leustat and Litak.

The next step in the process is for the European Commission to grant a licence.

As far as the UK is concerned, Cladribine will also have to be appraised by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). These organisations decide whether the drug will be available through the National Health Service.

NICE has already started the appraisal process in anticipation of a European licence being granted. NICE could publish its decision in February 2018. If NICE approves the use of cladribine, it could be available on the NHS as early as June next year.

The medication’s development has met mixed fortunes. Russia and Australia both approved it as an MS treatment in 2010 but Europe and the United States turned it down because of safety concerns.

In 2011, a licence application was refused because of concerns about a higher risk of cancer in people taking cladribine. However, in July last year, Merck announced that further research had found that there is no such increased risk and that the EMA had accepted a new licence application.

How to take cladribine

Patients take cladribine as a pill in two treatment courses:

  • In the first course, a patient takes cladribine pills for five consecutive days in the first month and for five consecutive days in the second month
  • The second course is taken 12 months later. Again a patient takes cladribine pills for five consecutive days in the first month and for five consecutive days in the second month

Cladribine was found to reduce the risk of relapses by 58%, compared to placebo, in large clinical trials. Also, it reduces the risk of increased disability.

Clinical trials reported main side effects include reduced white blood cell counts, which in most cases was mild or moderate, and infections including herpes zoster (shingles).

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Medical News Today. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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