Its priorities are intergenerational programs for older but active citizens, which support independent living. These include housing, access to work, education, training and leisure, transition planning for younger disabled people and local action for the stigma of mental health problems (Department of Health p 8).
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
NMSS was organized in 1946 by those who want to do something about MS now (NMSS, 2010). They work together towards a world free of MS through a 50-state network of chapters. They do this by funding worthwhile research, initiating change through advocacy, facilitating professional education and providing programs and services for people with MS and their families so they can move forward. to-date, NMSS has extended vital support and personalized services to more than 350,000 people with MS, their families, friends and colleagues. In 2008 alone, it has spent $136 million for programs and 440 research projects around the world. Programs include customized local programming assistance through its network, quality of life programming family weekends and children's camps, scholarship support, information support program. More than 21 million web visits each year are received online, through telephone and in person (NMSS).
Thousands of individual volunteers across the country serve as community leaders, ambassadors and champions who support the Movement (NMSS, 2010). Funds for its programs come from corporate partners, such as BP, FedEx and corporations. The Bike MS and Walk MS events have been growing and attract more than $125 million each year. Individuals donate more than $50 million by direct marketing and online donations. Corporations donate kind an direct financial contributions. The Movement aims at raising $1.25 billion by the end of this year (NMSS).
Interventions and Recommendations
Anti-inflammatory Effects of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids or PUFAs
Epidemiological studies suggest that saturated fat intake can lead to MS (Mehta et al.,
2009 p 82). On the other hand, the intake of PUFAs can inhibit inflammatory effects through multiple, complex mechanisms. Omega-3 and Omega-6 PUFAs p;ay a role in metabolic, immunologic, coagulation and inflammatory processes. They can be obtained from plant sources, such as sunflower, safflower, corn, wheat germ and soybean oils, and from fish oils. Several clinical trials with different results generally suggest the beneficial effect of PUFAs on MS. Their use should be further studied as a promising supplement to treatment or approach for MS through much larger and longer-term confirmatory trials than tried earlier (Mehta et al. 83-92). The use of PUFAs is highly recommended for their promised relief from the effects of MS. Further research on their benefits is also greatly encouraged.
Stem Cell Treatment
The use of stem cells may be a new way to address the management of MS and other neurodegenerative and neuroimmunological disorders (Karussis & Kassis, 2007 p 1201).
This is done by directing the migration of stem cells into the affected inflammatory areas to induce local immunomodulation and neuroprotection. Neuroprotection will accelerate or enhance the remyelinating mechanisms through the activation, growth and production of resident stem cells. The trans-differentiation of myelin-producing cells or neurons already theoretically exists in evidence. Fusion mechanisms may occur instead of trans-differentiation but they may still be beneficial in inducing the rejuvenation of partially damaged CNS cells (Karussis & Kassis pp1190-1195).
Adult stem cells are most appropriate for human use as they incur less dangers and more responsive to ethical standards (Karussis & Kassis, 2007 p 1200-1201). The best compromise seems to be bone marrow-derived mesenchuman stem cells for the said purposes and for ease of use. These cells can induce strong peripheral immunomodulating effects if directly administered into the cerebrospinal fluid for best advantage (Karussis & Kassis pp 1196-1201). Stem cell therapy is recommended when warranted by sufficient controlled clinical trials in MS.
Multiple sclerosis or MS is a most afflicting and challenging condition. The unknown origin, the lack of exact cure and the suffering caused by MS on people justify massive attention and action of all kinds. #
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