12-part Video Series, ‘Understanding Multiple Sclerosis,’ Available Online

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by Mary Chapman |

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In partnership with @Point of Care, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is offering a comprehensive educational video series about multiple sclerosis (MS).

The concise, 12-part series — titled “Understanding Multiple Sclerosis” —  features neurologist and MS expert Michelle T. Fabian, MD, and covers all aspects of the disease, including potential causes, symptoms, therapies, and wellness approaches. The series is designed to educate patients, as well as their caregivers and friends, about the disease.

Presented in a conversational, easy-to-follow style, each video offers insights and up-to-date disease information. Patients also can use the videos to help explain their complex disorder to others.

Topics included in the series are: “What is MS?,” “Possible Causes,” “The MS Process,” “Who Gets MS,” “MS Diagnosis,” “Types of MS,” “Relapse Management,” ‘Treatment Importance,” “MS Treatments,” “MS Symptoms,” “Wellness Tips,” and “How MSAA Can Help.”

As an example, in the “Possible Causes” video, Fabian discusses theories behind infection, genes, diet, and microbiome (the bacteria community present in the gut) as potential risk factors for MS development.

“We really believe that it’s probably a combination of factors that increases somebody’s risk to get MS,” she says in the video, adding that smoking, for instance, contributes to the possibility of MS development, but it is “only part of increasing somebody’s risk,” Fabian says.

Fabian also emphasizes the potential role of the microbiome. “We’re starting to think that people with MS may have a different type of microbiome than people who don’t have MS. But that’s really ongoing research,” she says.

In the video about “Relapse Management” Fabian explains what a relapse is, whether a patient should treat or wait out symptoms, and possible treatment options.

“A relapse is a new symptom that a patient has. Typically they’ve never had that symptom before,” Fabian explains. “And it is localized somewhere on their body. And that’s important because sometimes we all just wake up and just feel a little bit ‘blah,’ and that’s not a relapse. A relapse is a lesion in the brain or spinal cord that’s causing this new symptom.”

“And it lasts 24 hours. That’s really important, too, because a lot of times a patient might just sit a certain way or something and have a little numbness and tingling, but if they can shake it out, then that’s not a relapse,” Fabian added.

The video on “Wellness Tips” discusses the importance of strategies such as diet, exercise and sleep, all of which can help improve patients’ overall quality of life.

In the United States, it is estimated that nearly 1 million people have MS.

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