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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PoV: Canada's high rate of MS calls for awareness, action

Apr 30, 2013

Canadians are proud of being recognized the world over for certain things -- everything from hockey to Tim Hortons, maple syrup to "eh?"
But some Canadian facts are not so wonderful. One of those is the prevalence of multiple sclerosis. Canadians have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world.
According the the MS Society of Canada, MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. Every day, three more people in Canada are diagnosed with MS and women are more than three times as likely to develop MS as men.
May is MS Awareness Month in Canada and in addition to educational programs and media blitzes, canvassing and local fundraising endeavours are helping to pay for valuable research.
Multiple sclerosis' most dangerous dynamic is that the disease is complex and mysterious in its causes. Once it hits, its effects are varied in both kind and severity. And there is no cure.
Some people are able to live with the impact of MS for many years, others suffer greatly and lose a great deal of their bodily functions and in fact the resulting impact on organs can be fatal.
While it is most often diagnosed in young adults, aged 15 to 40, it affects children, some as young as two years old.
According to the society, MS can cause loss of balance, impaired speech, extreme fatigue, double vision and paralysis.
Researchers are making progress, but it's an arduously slow progress.

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