MSAA Draws Attention to Specific Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Each Week of March, MS Awareness Month

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MS Awareness Month

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month, and the  Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) will be marking it with a campaign to educate and heighten public awareness of the disease and the needs of the MS community.

MSAA-MS-Awareness-month-300x300For this campaign, the MSAA will dedicate each week in March to a particular symptom or issue:

  • The Walking and MS Awareness Week (week of March 7, 2016), supported by Acorda Therapeutics, will be focused on the difficulties with walking, a common issue for individuals with MS. Throughout this week, the MSAA is inviting people to better understand walking and MS by watching an insightful video and by answering a survey. Details can be found at
  • The Pseudobulbar Affect Awareness Week (week of March 14, 2016) is supported by Avanir Pharmaceuticals. Pseudobulbar Affect is a distressing condition marked by sudden, involuntary episodes of crying or laughing. MSAA invites people to better understand this lesser-known but very impactful symptom by watching a recently produced video, and by completing the newly developed Pseudobulbar Affect Awareness Survey. More information can be found at
  • The MS Relapse Awareness Week (week of March 21, 2016) is supported by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. MSAA is inviting people to test their knowledge of MS relapses (exacerbations) by taking part in the newly developed MS Relapse Awareness Quiz, as well as to explore the many tools and resources featured on the online center, including an insightful video, archived webinar, downloadable brochure, helpful questions to ask doctors and healthcare professionals, and more. For more information, visit

MS is a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord (called myelin) are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate with each other, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. MS is estimated to affect 2.3 million people worldwide.

MSAA is a leading resource for the entire MS community, and works to improve the lives of the more than 400,000 Americans with MS today through vital services and support.


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  1. Lisa Scroggins says:

    It’s my understanding that PBA is pretty rare in MS, and so I really wish that the MSAA would’ve focused on symptoms that are more common than this one. I have seen patients proclaim that someone has this symptom when the person at whom this was directed, simply had an appropriate emotion, considering the event. The last thing we need is for a bunch of people to start blaming things on MS, that have nothing to do with this symptom at all.

    An example of what I wish people understood is that while a person may lose the ability to walk without an aid, that alone doesn’t fully explain what they really go through. The aid makes ambulation possible, but the person likely also experiences weakness, and can’t walk very far. A person might also have extreme fatigue as well as spasticity. I have family members who think that it’s hard to walk. But there is so much more that’s happening. It’s a kind of constellation of symptoms and the results are frankly, devastating. People with MS aren’t hermits, but experience real difficulties with the most basic tasks. Just my two cents, but your choice of this symptom really dismayed me. (Dx in 1991; my mom and two of my sisters also have MS.) Thank you

  2. AG says:

    According to the PRISM study, 46% of patients with MS had symptoms of PBA. That is almost 1/2. That is significant and should be addressed.

    • Lisa Scroggins says:

      I didn’t say that it shouldn’t be addressed. But from your description, people “reported” symptoms, which is not the same thing as a diagnosis. In my experience, some people want to blame everything on MS. I’ve known a lot of people with MS but none with PBA. It seems my method may be as good as yours.

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