Call for awareness about multiple sclerosis disease

Karachi: Senior Neurologist Aga Khan Hospital (AKU) Karachi Dr Sarwar Jameel Siddiqui on Tuesday said multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease and people between of 20-40 age groups are the most vulnerable to it.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) in the connection with the World MS Day being observed on 28th May 2014 worldwide.

The press conference was organized by Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN) with the collaboration of Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (MSIF).

Dr Sarwar informed that prevalence rate of MS in Pakistan 1 case in every 100,000 people. He said prevalence of disease ratio is low in the country as compared with the other countries. He said MS disease is linked with geographical and genetic problems. He said multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, resulting in loss of muscle control, lack of coordination, loss of balance and vision balance.

He said in this disease the nerves of brain are damaged by one’s own immune system thus the condition is called an autoimmune disease. He said annually 400 patients were reported suffering from this disease in the country. He said MRI of brain is only way to diagnose the disease.

Neurologist Dr Naila Shahbaz said there is no definite cause of MS. She said women and youth are considered more vulnerable group for this disease. She said majority of doctors in the country are unaware about the disease that causes difficulties in its proper diagnoses.

She said unfortunately no any pharmaceutical company is ready to manufacture medicines for MS patients and there is acute shortage of such medicines in the country. She said if the proper treatment is not provided to the patients suffering from MS disease they will become disable in 5 to 10 years.

She said despite the challenges, physiotherapy, good diet and other treatments available such as disease-modifying drugs can help control symptoms and improve quality of life of patients.

General Secretary MSIF Dr Abdul Maalik urged the general public to avoid direct exposure in sunlight and hot weather. He advised people always take bath with cold water in summer and use fresh water in winter season as hot water might increase the intensity of the disease.

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