MS Brain Health Newsletter April 2020

Managing MS during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting each of us in many ways, and the MS community is facing challenges we have never faced before. In response to questions from people with MS and the need for specific guidance on managing the disease during the pandemic, Professor Giovannoni and the Steering Committee are running a virtual educational event on Thursday 30 April at 19:00 BST.


Healthcare professionals and researchers working in MS are invited to register for this meeting, which will include short talks from experts around the globe, a panel discussion and Q&A. The programme will focus on virology, epidemiology, immune response and suppression, disease-modifying therapies and COVID-19, and MS services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you miss the live event, the content will be available on demand afterwards. 


News from Australia 

The MS Australia team has recently had an article about brain health in MS published in CRANAplus Magazine. CRANAplus represents specialist practitioners within Australia who provide or coordinate a diverse range of healthcare services for remote, disadvantaged and isolated populations. Its readership of around 60,000 people includes general practitioners – a group that, of course, plays a critical role in establishing a timely diagnosis of MS and referring patients promptly to a neurologist. 


If you or your local MS group are inspired by this and would like to develop a similar piece for a local publication, do check out the MS Brain Health Guide for general practitioners and primary care providers on our website.



Evidence to support brain-healthy lifestyle 

The Australian article above also highlights six ways to live a brain-healthy lifestyle:
  • Keep as active as you can
  • Keep your weight under control
  • Keep your mind active
  • Avoid smoking
  • Watch how much you drink
  • Continue taking other medicines that your doctor has prescribed.

If you are a person with MS, are you familiar with the current scientific evidence supporting this guidance? Would you like to know more? Following discussions with several MS organizations, we are keen to review and summarize the new evidence on these topics. What information would be useful for you? Please email us if any specific updates would be of particular interest.



Coming soon...
At present, many healthcare professionals are very busy, having taken on additional work to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have therefore decided to delay releasing some of our new resources until people have more time. Once things begin to return to normal, we will distribute some exciting new resources to support the MS community implement the MS Brain Health consensus standards for the timing of key steps in the MS care pathway

We hope to meet again soon. Meanwhile, keep safe and cherish the good things we can still enjoy. 


You can follow us on Twitter @MSBrainHealth to keep up with the latest news.
Thank you for your continuing support!
Gavin Giovannoni, MD

Professor of Neurology and Chair of the MS Brain Health Steering Committee

On behalf of the MS Brain Health Steering Committee: Gavin Giovannoni, Peer Baneke, Helmut Butzkueven, Jodi Haartsen, Jeremy Hobart, Christoph Thalheim, Tony Traboulsee, Tim Vollmer and Tjalf Ziemssen

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