Highest rate of multiple sclerosis

In support of the MS Society of Canada – Simcoe Muskoka Chapter, Mayor Milne has proclaimed the month of May as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in New Tecumseth. A flag raising was held on May 17 at the Town Administration Centre in Alliston

Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world, with an estimated 1 in 340 Canadians living with the disease. While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 15 to 40, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with the disease.

MS is currently classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). The disease attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin. Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibres. If damage to myelin is slight, nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions; however, if the damage is substantial and if scar tissue replaces the myelin, nerve impulses may be completely disrupted, and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged.

MS is unpredictable and can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes. Its effects can be physical, emotional and financial. Currently, there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more about what causes MS and are zeroing in on ways to prevent it.

Visit www.mssociety.ca for more information or to make a donation.

Photo: Reps from the MS Society left to right: Laura Downing, Jessica Rapson, Councillor Shira Harrison-McIntyre, Kathleen Blake, Penny Burton, Councillor  Paul Whiteside, Donna Ellis, Barry Whitmore, Lois Whitmore and Elgin Armstrong


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