MS MindShift Campaign Uses Balloon Festival to Raise Awareness About MS Brain Health

MS MindShift Campaign Uses Balloon Festival to Raise Awareness About MS Brain Health

Celgene and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) are working together to bring the “MS MindShift: A New View of MS” campaign, which is raising awareness about the importance of brain health in multiple sclerosis (MS), to the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Readington, July 26-28.

MS MindShift is a national initiative that was launched before World MS Day, a global initiative that takes place every year on May 30. It was created to promote solidarity and bring hope to those affected by MS.

The main goal of the MS MindShift campaign is to educate people about the key role of the brain in MS, and to help people with the disease keep their brain as healthy as possible for as long as they can.

During the festival, the MS Mindshift “Brain Bulb” hot air balloon will fly to  represent the core message of the campaign — advocating that when people think about MS they should think first about the brain.

The symbolism goes beyond that. To fly above the ground, a hot air balloon must be kept in good condition; likewise, if a patient’s brain is kept in good shape, some of the debilitating effects of MS may be minimized, and the patients’ quality of life improves.

“Damage from the inflammation caused by MS can lead to inefficient communication in the brain. A process known as neurological reserve allows the brain to tap into other areas not affected by MS to communicate and perform tasks the affected area no longer can,” Krupa Pandey, MD, said in a press release. Pandey is MS neurologist at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center.

“I encourage people living with MS to gain a better understanding of the importance of brain health, including how lifestyle changes may help maintain neurological reserve longer,” Pandey said.

During the festival, visitors will have the chance to learn more about the MS MindShift initiative and see the “Brain Bulb” hot air balloon up close. They also will have the opportunity to take a ride on the “Brain Bulb” balloon while learning more about this new “brain” perspective on MS.

“We’re excited to partner with Celgene on the MS MindShift campaign to raise awareness of this critical topic within the MS community,” said Amanda Montague, vice president of Education and Healthcare Relations at the MSAA. “This initiative aligns with our mission to help improve the lives of people living with MS by providing them with the knowledge and support needed to help manage their condition.”

Terrie Curran, president of global inflammation and immunology at Celgene, added: “Celgene is committed to providing education, resources, and tools that help support the MS community and those living with the disease. Through the MS MindShift, we hope to bring this new perspective on brain health directly to the community to elevate this important conversation.”

More information about the MS MindShift campaign and other events is available at the initiative’s website.

Joana is currently completing her PhD in Biomedicine and Clinical Research at Universidade de Lisboa. She also holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology from Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that make up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.
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Joana is currently completing her PhD in Biomedicine and Clinical Research at Universidade de Lisboa. She also holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology from Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that make up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.
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