World MS Day (WMSD) is the only global awareness raising campaign for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Every year, the MS movement comes together to provide the public with information about MS and how it affects the lives of more than two million people around the world.
WMSD was launched in 2009 with over 200 events in 67 countries and has continued to grow every year. Last year saw activities taking place in more than 73 countries worldwide!
This year World MS Day (WNSD) is on 30 May. The theme for 2012 is ‘Living with MS’ and the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) have launched their WMSD campaign on the 9th May with the release of a riddle related to Multiple Sclerosis every week counting down to 30 May.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system. Today over 2,000,000 people around the world have MS.
MS is an inflammatory demyelination condition. Myelin is a fatty material that insulates nerves, acting much like the covering of an electric wire and allowing the nerve to transmit its impulses rapidly. It is the speed and efficiency with which these impulses are conducted that permits smooth, rapid and co-ordinated movements to be performed with little conscious effort.
In multiple sclerosis, the loss of myelin (demyelination) is accompanied by a disruption in the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain and this produces the various symptoms of MS. The sites where myelin is lost (plaques or lesions) appear as hardened (scar) areas: in multiple sclerosis these scars appear at different times and in different areas of the brain and spinal cord. The term multiple sclerosis means, literally, many scars.
What is Multiple Sclerosis ?
Multiple sclerosis is a very variable condition and the symptoms depend on which areas of the central nervous system have been affected. There is no set pattern to MS and everyone with MS has a different set of symptoms, which vary from time to time and can change in severity and duration, even in the same person.
There is no typical MS. Most people with MS will experience more than one symptom, and though there are symptoms common to many people, no person would have all of them. Common symptoms include:
Balance & co-ordination problems
Bladder & bowel problems
Sexuality & intimacy
Sensitivity to heat
Cognitive & emotional disturbances
Whilst some of these symptoms are immediately obvious, others such as fatigue, altered sensation, memory and concentration problems are often hidden symptoms. These can be difficult to describe to others and sometimes family and carers do not appreciate the effects these have on the person with MS and on employment, social activities and quality of life.
MS fatigue survey results
U2-Beautiful Day (World MS Day 2009 Promo)