The Multiple Sclerosis Patients Advocacy Platform is launched in Iran
Tehran, November 2010. An affiliation of independent Multiple Sclerosis organizations, experts, healthcare groups and commercial corporations have come together to voice their concern about the rising number of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis or 'MS' in Iran. The affiliation hopes to enhance the quality of life for all those affected by the disease.
"It is estimated that close to 100,000 people may suffer from MS in Iran, and this figure is very alarming. Every hour someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and improved screening by the medical community is only highlighting the jump in numbers of people who require treatment. We want to inspire and encourage people to take action to join this movement to end multiple sclerosis across the region once and for all." said Dr Pakdaman, President of the Iran Neurological Association.
Multiple sclerosis is a complex disease. While it is most often diagnosed in young adults, aged 15 to 40, its known that it affects children, some as young as two years old. The impact is felt by family, friends and by the community. Multiple sclerosis is unpredictable, affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Its effects are physical, emotional, financial, and last a lifetime. There is no cure, yet powerful treatment can ensure that patients lead a normal and productive life.
The new organization aims to streamline the advocacy, education and support activities across Iran and the region, to provide ongoing support and direct services to those individuals with MS and the people close to them.
Due to its complexity and variety of symptoms, Dr Pakdaman, President says that MS is not easy to diagnose. "There is no single diagnostic test and other conditions with similar symptoms may need to be ruled out before a final diagnosis can be made. There are different ways to tackle the problems caused by MS. Disease modifying drugs can help to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses, while many MS symptoms can be effectively managed using a variety of treatments".
To ignite this movement and create a better understanding of MS with a busy public the MS patients advocacy platform is also planning a regional summit to be held later this year, bringing together MS experts, medical professionals and media to discuss strategies to raise awareness of the diagnosis and treatment options available for sufferers of MS.
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