Effects of MS can be 'invisible'

World MS Day to focus on unseen symptoms
  • Deborah Condon

World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day takes place later this month and this year's event aims to raise awareness of the invisible symptoms of the condition.

MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which causes a gradual degeneration of the nerves. This results in a progressive deterioration in various functions controlled by the nervous system, such as vision, speech and movement.

It is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 and is the most common debilitating neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland.

"While many people are aware of MS and the more visible, tangible symptoms that it can cause, the effects of MS can vary greatly from person to person and can often be invisible to those around them. Through our World MS Day activity, we hope to raise awareness around the less visible aspects of MS and how it can impact on the day-to-day life of a person living with the condition," explained Ava Battles, CEO of MS Ireland.

Sharon Henvey from Meath is the ambassador for this year's event and has been living with MS for 10 years. She said World MS Day means a lot to her and her family as it ‘shines a spotlight on the 9,000 people in Ireland living with MS and what life is like for us'.

"The theme for this year's campaign is visibility, which I think is crucially important, as some of the symptoms I experience are unseen. I do at times feel that my MS is invisible, which can be hard to explain to friends and family, so hopefully, the campaign can create awareness of these unseen symptoms," she said.

World MS Day takes place on Thursday, May 30. MS Ireland branches around the country will hold local events. However, people are also being urged to take part in the organisation's 9,000 steps challenge to help support the 9,000 people affected.

For more information on events taking place or on MS in general, click here.


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