MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS) IS A CHRONIC DISEASE, WHERE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM ATTACKS THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. THE DISEASE IS CURRENTLY INCURABLE AND, FOR MOST PEOPLE, THE SYMPTOMS GET WORSE YEAR ON YEAR.
MS is an incurable neurological disease affecting over 2.3m people. The name literally means ‘many scars’ because of the lesions that it causes in peoples’ brains and/or spinal cords. The severity and even symptoms vary from person to person, so every person living with MS experiences it differently.
People with MS live with disabling symptoms that can include fatigue, pain, depression, difficulty organizing and problem solving; and difficulty with balance, coordination, and walking. For many people their MS will cause unpredictable attacks that can be completely disabling for a period, and which may permanently worsen their symptoms. For others their MS is a progressive worsening of symptoms that can often lead to significant disability. Many people with MS gradually lose their ability to work and function independently.
Despite this, or maybe in part because of this, the community of people affected by MS is one of the most dynamic and engaged patient groups in the world. People from every country and background are part of the solution to this disease. Through research, support networks, patient groups and fundraisers, everyone who has been affected by MS is part of the fight.
MS International Federation (MSIF)
There are some challenges in MS that can't be solved in isolation, some problems that individuals, patient organisations or researchers can't overcome alone. In order to find solutions, we need the global MS community to rise as one. MSIF exists to bring the world together to speed up the breakthroughs we need in MS research, and improve the quality of life for people living with MS today.
MSIF’s work is all about strengthening national MS patient organisations and building international collaborations and networks to solve complex research, policy and support challenges. People affected by MS, our members and supporters – our global MSIF movement – can achieve together what is too difficult or too expensive to do alone.
Recent years have seen some incredible progress in MS research, with the first treatments for progressive MS and paediatric MS. But this is only scratching the surface. We still need to understand what causes the disease, exactly why and how it does what it does. Only when we've done this can we speed up treatment development, and ultimately stop or reverse the effects.
The money you raise through Cykelnerven funds international research grants and collaborations, so every turn of the crank pushes us closer to a world without MS.
Quick MS facts
- MS is a progressive disease of the central nervous system, for which there is no cure at present.
- More women than men have MS, with a ratio of three women to two men.
- MS is the most common disease of the central nervous system in young adults.
- MS is not directly hereditary, although genetic susceptibility plays a part in its development.
- MS is not contagious or infectious.
- Diagnosis of MS is generally between 20 and 40 years of age, although onset may be earlier.
- There are a wide range of symptoms, with fatigue being one of the most common.
- The incidence of MS increases in countries further from the equator.
- There is no drug that can cure MS, but treatments are now available which can modify the course of the disease.
- Some of the symptoms of MS can be successfully managed and treated