‘Stop Multiple Sclerosis’ Is Theme of World Brain Day
“Every year, we use World Brain Day to highlight an area of neurology that needs the world’s attention,” Tissa Wijeratne, MD, the World Brain Day chair, said in a press release. “Every five minutes, someone receives the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, so the urgency of this matter could not be more apparent.”
The event is sponsored by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and the MS International Federation (MSIF), which are inviting all those living with MS, caregivers, healthcare providers, and MS organizations to participate in the presentations to use the #WorldBrainDay2021 hashtag. Participants also can use event banners and logos, which are available in the World Brain Day 2021 Toolkit.
Awareness and education — both on the part of the public and that of healthcare professionals — can help future MS patients obtain earlier diagnoses and faster access to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).
“More than 2.8 million people of all ages live with multiple sclerosis around the world, and every one of those people has a story, friends, family and dreams,” said William Carroll, MD, president of WFN. “Our goal is to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis and its impact on the individuals who live with it, their loved ones and society to improve access to quality neurological care and life-changing treatments.”
Although the disorder does not yet have a cure, DMTs now exist that can slow MS progression and improve the quality of life for those with access to them. Access to DMTs, however, is distributed unevenly around the world, with many regions lacking any such therapy.
The MSIF recently published a report called the Atlas of MS, covering topics such as its prevalence, demographics, and clinical management.
According to the report:
- More than three-quarters of countries in the world face obstacles to early diagnosis;
- People lack adequate access to DMTs in approximately 70% of countries;
- Therapies for the disorder’s less-visible features, such as fatigue and cognitive impairment, are unavailable in 20% of countries.
The World Brain Day action page contains more information about how to get involved personally. It also contains downloadable tools such as posters, brochures, and presentation slides.
“We are delighted to partner with the World Federation of Neurology to shine a spotlight on multiple sclerosis this World Brain Day,” said Rachel King, international evidence manager for MSIF.
“While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, much progress has been made in recent years to improve treatment options for people with multiple sclerosis. We now need to come together to ensure that everyone can access the right treatment at the right time,” she concluded.