Each year, the United States dedicates the month of March to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness, and the week of March 13- 19 is Multiple Sclerosis week. You might see orange ribbons with a butterfly attached to lapels during this time. Orange is the official color of MS awareness. When a person sees if they have Multiple Scelrosis, they undergo a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure. When MS is confirmed, a butterfly shape appears on the MRI scan which is why butterflies are often assoicated with MS awareness.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. Researchers believe it is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissue instead of only infected tissue. The immune system will attack the myelin sheath found in the brain. The myelin sheath protects nerve fibers in the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord. Over time, the myelin sheath is destroyed. The destroyed sheath results in scar tissue (Sclerosis) disrupting electrical impulses between the brain and other body parts.
Unfortunately, there are no known factors that cause MS or ways to prevent it. Many people diagnosed with MS have no known risk factors
In March 2019, the journal Neurology estimated the number of people living with MS in the United States now reaches as high as 1 million people whereas years prior, the number was half that. Researchers, while working on a cure and treatment plans, are currently trying to figure out why there has been a significant increase in new cases.
This Year’s Awareness Theme
The theme from 2020-2022 for Multiple Sclerosis week is “Connections.” Advocacy groups have asked people diagnosed with MS to share their stories of connecting with their community, themselves, healthcare team, family, and friends after receiving the diagnosis. Once people share their stories, advocacy groups ask people to use the hashtag #MSConnections. The hope is this will spark a dialogue and bring attention to the disease and provide more funding for research.
An MS diagnosis changes ones’ life forever. Since they cannot control their nerve impulses, many people with MS have difficulty with mobility. At Next Day Access, we offer a wide variety of solutions to help people with mobility issues stay safe and more comfortable in their homes or on the go. Whether you need a wheelchair, handrails, walker, or more, we are here to help. Contact us today.