What is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that is estimated to affect over 2.3 million people worldwide with an approximate one million diagnosed individuals within the United States. While women are two to three times more likely to develop MS than men, men can still be diagnosed with MS. For an in-depth explanation of how this disease works, check out the video below from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society:
The disease varies in its severity and symptoms. In fact, clinicians have classified four variances or types of MS: Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), Secondary progressive MS (SPMS), Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS). Each type of MS has its own challenges and treatment options.
Just remember, if you have been diagnosed with MS, you aren’t alone. There is a widespread network of people with MS, their families, and their communities, including their health team, that you can connect with.
To get a sense of what that community is like check out the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
One way to connect with people is to reach out to your local MS Chapter. There are regional MS Chapters and even state level chapters that provide a great support system for people and families affected by MS.
*Some of the various MS Support Groups across the US and Canada
For MS State and Regional Chapters within the United States see https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters
For local groups within a 250-mile radius of where you live in the United States, check out the National MS Society’s Local Support Group finder. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support/Find-Support/Join-a-Local-Support-Group
For information on MS support groups in Canada see: https://mssociety.ca/support-services/ms-knowledge-network