What's Important Now -- An MS Column by Ian Franks


Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media — during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native U.K. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006.

He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist MS, health, and disability website at www.50shadesofsun.com. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

Wondering How MS Will Affect Me Today

Waking up in the morning and facing the world brings a sense of wonder. Not in the sense of awe, just in wondering how MS will affect me today. Is it a good day or a bad day? What will it bring? Like most people,…

Stem Cell Clinics Under Critical Scrutiny in US

Stem cell clinics are proliferating in the U.S., where there are now 570 in operation, according to a paper quoted by the New York Times. And concerns are being raised that these clinics are often operating and making claims beyond those allowed by the country’s public health regulatory…

MS Patients in US and UK Face Very Different Treatment

  We may have international cooperation and worldwide this and that, but the fact remains that countries vary drastically from one another in all sorts of ways. Take healthcare as an example, and the costs of treatment. Yes, we have the World Health Organization and there are various health-related initiatives…

Action Is Needed: Costs Limit MS Patients’ Access to DMTs

A recent survey of more than 6,000 multiple sclerosis patients in the United States found that health insurance coverage can decide their access to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), and that that coverage is worsening, leaving a good number struggling to be able to pay for their treatment. As an MS patient myself, I find…

‘My Super Diet Cured My MS! Buy My Book!’

There seems to be general agreement that achieving and keeping an overall level of good health is very important for people living with multiple sclerosis, or with any chronic illness for that matter. And one way to reach that goal, many will say, is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. It’s at…

Patients Need To Know What Drugs Do Inside Our Bodies

Oral therapy Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) seems to be emerging as a first-line treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis – according to Biogen, the company that developed it. That’s good news, and something we need to know. The company agrees that for some time, the long-term effectiveness and safety of this oral…

Have Your Say About Disease Modifying Therapies for RRMS

You have just one week from today to have your say about the effectiveness of various disease modifying therapies (DMT) used to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Public comments are welcome in response to an early draft paper that is planned to be the basis for…

MS Patient’s Pick of the Week’s News

Developments of treatments for MS dominate my pick of the week’s news in MS News Today. Included is a vaccine and a new oral drug. Vaccine to Treat Multiple Sclerosis Showing Promise and Soon to Enter Phase 3 Clinical Testing This is something a bit different because, usually vaccines are designed to…

To Fight MS, Drink Four Cups of Coffee a Day?

Ready to fight MS? Well, you can start first thing every day. So, how do you start your day — a coffee maybe, or a great cup of tea? Tea is my choice but I also enjoy a magnificent cup of Spanish coffee. According to a number of recent studies, coffee and…

An MS Patient’s View: Ian’s Review of the Week’s News

In my weekly news review, I take a brief look, from my MS patient’s view, at a few of the stories behind the headlines that have appeared on Multiple Sclerosis News Today over the last seven days. 14 Celebrity Ambassadors For the Multiple Sclerosis Cause It looks as…

MS Patients Need a Drug Therapy Without Awful Side Effects

Never having been offered, let alone received any disease modifying therapy, I can address the subject of disease modifying therapies, and their side effects, with complete impartiality. Of course, the reason for the lack of any medication is because none has yet been approved for use with MS patients who…

MS is Linked to Glandular Fever, I Have No Doubt

In my mind, MS is linked to glandular fever. From personal experience, there is no room for doubt of any kind. Trouble is, though, that my experience and belief is not proof. And that is why I find that efforts to establish a definite link between glandular fever, often known…

MS Weekly News Review – June 20

Welcome to our very first weekly news review. Starting today, it is the intention to use the Monday column of this blog to cast a look back at the previous week’s editorial content of this MS site. In particular, we’ll be looking at the wide range of topics covered and…

Optic Neuritis in MS So Difficult To See

Optic neuritis is one of the symptoms of which those of us who live with multiple sclerosis on a daily basis know can set us apart from others. We are fully, and often painfully, aware that everyone is different. We all experience a different array of symptoms to similarly different…

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

Illustration of doctor an patient talked
We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

Expert Voices

menopause | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | illustration of woman talking with doctor

Expert Voices is a monthly series where we ask experts the questions our MS community is most interested in. Check out the entire collection below: 

Financial Planning

Diet and Nutrition

Managing Fatigue

Sex and Intimacy Issues

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Treatments and Cure Research

Vitamin D

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

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