in the news

I have a number of potential posts going through my mind these days: my own health updates; MS news; handicapped parking in Winnipeg (where I live); a man found dead in a Winnipeg hospital emergency room; and Winnipeg's new slogan. It almost feels as if I have been behind!

Maybe I will start with Winnipeg's new city slogan..."The Heart of the Continent". The new slogan has replaced the decades old, "One Great City" slogan, found on the road signs that greet motorists entering the city. The problem is, Winnipeg is NOT the heart of the continent, Rugby North Dakota is! Geographically speaking, Winnipeg is the longitudinal centre of at best, it is the "Heart of the Country". And we can debate that in many we could debate One Great City too.

You may have heard more news bits about MS lately, and I surmise this is because people (health professionals, volunteers, those affected by MS) from around the world met in Montreal recently to discuss MS...Living with MS...Global Perspectives on Current Issues (or the World Congress on Treatment and Research in MS). The "hot" vitamin these days, vitamin D, has been highlighted at these meetings, and thus hit the news again. Vitamin D...friend and foe?

It isn't news that a lack of Vitamin D is a possible contributing factor to the onset of MS. Vitamin D levels have been measured in MS patients for some time. Now, studies are looking at if there are successful ways to combat a vitamin D deficiency early in life. But a lack of vitamin D alone is not the cause of MS. So the relationship of D and other issues (including hormonal) are being investigated. Using vitamin D as a treatment for pre-existing MS is also being studied.

*I was told by my MS neurologist, on my very first visit, when he saw the demylenation in my brain, before he said, "It is MS"...he asked me if I was taking Vitamin D. He said that I should be taking 1000iu won't hurt to take it.

If you have some time, take a look at this:

Last night, unable to fall asleep, I stumbled across this "atlas"...and fell asleep feeling happy to live where I do while learning to live with MS. To sum it up for you, a few years of world-wide research and questionnaires were used to form the stats found in this atlas. The atlas breaks down many aspects of MS (globally!) from age of diagnosis, to home benefits, to driving regulations, to alternative treatments, to existence of government drug funding...and more!

Here are some of what shocked me:

Can a person with MS lose their job because he/she has MS...the answer is NO in only a handful of countries (Canada, Australia, Paraguay)...the answer is YES in more (United States, Finland, Russian Federation).

Mean age of onset (in 1997): Canada 24.5, United States and United Kingdom 32.5, China 30.8, Italy 25

Percent of eligible people with MS who receive disease modifying treatment: Canada 75%, Russian Federation 50%, Australia 80%, Pakistan 90%, United States no data provided.

These numbers (and the hundreds more in the atlas) do beg for further information. Maybe if I read further into it, I would answer my questions. But when I finished reading approximately one dozen of the stats, I was happy to be in Canada.

Okay - that's enough for now. My brain is tired.



Little bits about my life with MS

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