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March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, as declared by New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, in 2015. Multiple Sclerosis, also commonly known as MS, is an unpredictable and debilitating disease of the central nervous system. It disturbs the movement of knowledge within the brain, and between the body and the brain.
This disease also consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering - known as myelin - that surrounds the nerves of the central nervous system, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways.
Common MS symptoms include: visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, depression and cognitive issues, and various levels of impaired mobility. Women are more likely to develop MS in their lifetime as opposed to men, and most people are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50.
MS is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. Unfortunately, as of now, there is no known cure for MS, but there are ways to manage and maintain the symptoms. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America has a goal to raise awareness and move the world a little closer to being free of MS.
But, why is this all so important? Let's break down the surprising facts and statistics:
What can you do to help spread awareness of MS?
1. Exercise for MS
There are plenty of events held around communities that help spread awareness of MS with "Bike for MS" or "Walk for MS" being just 2 of them. The more you get moving, the more opportunities you will have to participate and share MS awareness. Plus, as an added bonus, exercising not only helps you to remain active, but it keeps your endorphins pumping, and puts you in a more positive mood.
2. Help Others Become Educated About MS Awareness
Spread the word about MS and its symptoms, what the disease consists of, and how people are able to live with an MS diagnosis. You can start a social media campaign, share your story of living with MS, or share the story of someone you know who is affected by this disease.
3. Participate in MS Awareness Week
MS Awareness Week is held from March 10-16 this year. This event allows you to communicate with others who suffer from this disease, as well as provide tips on how those who suffer from MS can perform their daily activities. It also allows you to share with others why MS is such a disabling disease and why it deserves recognition.
Help be the change and spread awareness about this painful disease. Living with MS is an ongoing process, beginning with the very first symptoms and continuing throughout the course of the disease. Know what to look for, where to find it, and how to work effectively with your doctor and other health care professionals to best manage your MS.