Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Group Expands into the United States

Patricia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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OMS expands into US

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS), a non-profit organization that promotes a program based on a scientifically tested diet and lifestyle management with the goal of improving the health status and quality of life of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), recently announced that it will expand into the United States.

OMS is well-established in Australia and New Zealand, and since 2011 has also been present in the United Kingdom. The OMS Recovery Program promotes healthy living in MS patients through a combination of diet alterations and lifestyle management, together with standard medical care. The program was developed in Australia by Dr. George Jelinek, a professor of medicine, doctor and researcher who was diagnosed with the disease in 1999.

“My experience with MS inspired me to study the disease and develop the OMS Recovery Program,” explained Dr. Jelinek in a news release. “My mother had MS and before she died, she was unable to care for herself. When I was diagnosed, I was determined not to have the same fate and wanted to help others living with MS improve their quality of life.”

OMS has conducted a study based on a survey with 2,500 MS patients at 57 different countries — the HOLISM (Health Outcomes and Lifestyle Interventions in a Sample of people with Multiple Sclerosis) study. Many of the study’s participants followed the OMS Recovery Program. Overall, the study results showed that MS patients following the OMS Recovery Program had a significant improvement in health outcomes and quality of life.

Two research articles based on data collected in the HOLISM study were published in relevant medical journals in 2015, supporting the efficacy and clinical benefits of the program. The first article, published in the journal Neurological Sciences under the title “Engagement in a program promoting lifestyle modification is associated with better patient-reported outcomes for people with MS,” showed that the OMS Recovery Program resulted in positive clinical outcomes in MS patients. The second study, entitled “Clinically Significant Fatigue: Prevalence and Associated Factors in an International Sample of Adults with Multiple Sclerosis Recruited via the Internet,” was published in the journal PLOS One and confirmed that the lifestyle management recommendations offered in the program could decrease the likelihood of MS patients experiencing symptoms like fatigue and depression, and improve their quality of life.

Since its start in 1999, OMS has strived to make its Recovery Program available to the estimated worldwide community of 2.5 million MS patients. As part of this goal, the organization has developed a new website focused on educating the MS community on the disease and the OMS program. OMS has not accepted funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

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