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.

Alone with MS?  Are You? Really?

Am I alone with MS? I do wonder that, sometimes; at those times of fatigue and frustration when the darkness envelopes you. When you pound the floor having fallen again; when you curse this monster inside you; and when you cry out “Why me?” But, of course, I am not…

Medical Cannabis Has a Role to Play in MS Treatment

Medical cannabis is subject to laws relating to the growing, possession, transport, and use of marijuana. These vary from country to country and, in the United States, from state to state. There are also differences between marijuana for general and recreational use and for the same product for medical use.

Stem Cell MS Patients Lead Normal Life Thanks To aHSCT Procedure

People with MS who were involved in a long-term clinical trial are out and about enjoying a full and normal life with no signs of the disease. This follows their recovery from the stem cell transplants involving aggressive chemotherapy, or aHSCT as the procedure is known. Results of the clinical…

MS life expectancy discussed but not all treatments considered

When talking about how treatments affect MS life expectancy, it’s wrong to leave out HSCT. Sorry, but it’s just plain wrong. How can anyone write a supposedly authoritative article about MS and life expectancy, talk about modifying how the disease affects people who have it, yet totally ignore potentially the…

Is MS hereditary? Yes, According to New Study

Some forms of multiple sclerosis are hereditary after all. After many years of saying that MS is not passed down the generations, new research now says the opposite. Although past studies have suggested that genetic risk factors could increase the risk of developing the disease, up until now, there has been…

MS is a lonely road. No kidding!

Being lonely can be very difficult to define as it is not only the popularly assumed situation of being alone. You can be lonely in a room full of people if you don’t know anyone well enough to speak to them; conversely, you can be happy when alone, in your…

‘MS Does Not Remit’ – Call to Change RRMS Name to Relapsing MS

MS does not remit and the out dated term causes many people to delay taking medication, says Dr Patricia Coyle, Founder and Director of Stony Brook’s MS Comprehensive Care Center. Dr. Patricia Coyle. Last week, at the CMSC Annual Meeting in Maryland, during a live-streamed presentation covered by Multiple Sclerosis News Today, she…

Stem Cell Transplants – an Exciting MS Therapy Development

Stem cell treatment of MS, which came under the spotlight at last week’s 16th Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) when Dr. Mark Freedman discussed the procedure, is an exciting area within the development of therapies. Dr. Freedman, professor of medicine (neurology) at the…

Do MS and Epilepsy share a link? I Have Both

By the time I went through various tests that led to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 14 years ago, epilepsy had already been part of my life since the age of 19. No one mentioned any link. The neurologist’s words still ring in my ears. Having already told me that MS was the diagnosis,…

MS Might Be Reversed by Strict Dieting, USC Study in Mice Reports

How would you feel about following a calorie-restricted diet, if it might reverse the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and help repair the damage caused by the disease? Scientists are so excited about the findings achieved so far that they are moving to large-scale human trials, and have already taken the unusual…

Run to Win the Race Against MS

Welcome to this, the very first installment of my new regular column for Multiple Sclerosis News Today. Here, you can join the race to beat this disease. Run to win. First, let me introduce myself. I am, shall we say, mature — aged 63; having spent my working life doing what…

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

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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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