About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

Laughter Therapy and Other Research Highlights

Recently, MSAA published an article highlighting the vital information presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC).  This article, now available on MSAA’s website, features a large collection of research summaries, which provide a quick overview of the results of several important studies in the treatment of MS.

Topics featured in this article include:

  • Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in research pipeline
  • Long-term efficacy, safety, and comparative analysis of approved DMTs
  • Wellness strategies, laughter therapy, and reproductive-health topics, including information on exercise, symptom management, pregnancy, and more

Read an excerpt on laughter therapy here: Continue reading

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How I Find Laughter in the Face of MS

By Alene Brennan

Incurable. Degenerative. Chronic. The weight of the words is heavy. The reality of living with them is even heavier. We can easily sink into the quicksand of worries and struggles or… we can find acceptance in this beast of a disease and sprinkle in a heavy dose of laughter.

Laughter is Medicine

We hear it often that laughter is the best medicine, but what actually happens when we laugh? And is laughter strong enough to take on MS? Continue reading

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Flying With One Wing

By Doug Ankerman

For me, traveling with multiple sclerosis (and being in a wheelchair) has never been a problem.

I’ve rolled through airports with every conceivable three-letter combination in the entire alphabet.  And my latest trip to Phoenix (or should I say PHX) would be no exception.

But this trip WOULD be a challenge for two reasons. Continue reading

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Bon Voyage

By Lauren Kovacs

Most of us with MS see travel as a visit to an energy sucking monster.  At least, it is a trip I avoid. Ok, fine, my voyages include a trip to my couch most days. If I am adventurous, I might go to a drive-thru and get ice coffee.

There are handicapped-type plans you can make. When booking a hotel stay, ask for a handicapped accessible room. They generally have more room in the bathrooms and have shower grab bars. Grab bars in the shower are a must. I also found a travel shower chair. Continue reading

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Meet the Board

MSAA strives to be a leading resource for the entire MS community by improving lives today through vital services and support – and we could not accomplish this without the help of our volunteer board members. MSAA’s Board of Directors is comprised of accomplished professionals from across the country who volunteer their time to further MSAA’s mission. With our ongoing series, Meet the Board, we hope to introduce you to our wonderful volunteer board members!

This month, MSAA is proud to highlight board member Paula Nitto, CPA, and a member of the Audit and Finance Committee at MSAA. Continue reading

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Traveling with Multiple Sclerosis Isn’t Always Easy

By Penelope Conway

Before multiple sclerosis came along I was an avid traveler. At different times I even lived and worked In Germany, France, Mexico and Jamaica. I loved getting out and meeting new people, experiencing different customs and enjoying amazing new food.

When my mobility became a struggle, it was then that I realized just how inaccessible so much of the world truly is, both here in America and abroad. You never really think about those things until they affect you personally. Continue reading

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Top 3 Must-Have Travel Accessories this Summer

By Alene Brennan

Just because you have MS doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the sun. MS or not, you want to enjoy summer vacations, barbeques and outdoor activities. So how can you achieve this without having the heat triggering or exacerbate your symptoms?

Check out these “accessories” that helped me manage MS during my mission trip to Haiti just one year after my diagnosis. Continue reading

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Making Travel Possible and a Priority When MS Symptoms Make it Hard

By Stacie Prada

In 2014, I visited France for the first time.  I went to Sainte-Chapelle at the recommendation of a neighbor who raved I needed to go when I visited Paris.  It was incredible. The gothic architecture of the building relies on a web of supporting arcs that creates a pattern like no other I’d seen before in real life.  It was awe-inspiring. I’d been told the main floor was beautiful and the upper floor exponentially more incredible.

At the time I recall there was construction and signage indicating only one way to access the upper floor.  As I climbed the tightly curved, narrow and steep stairway, I experienced a visceral moment that had me choking back a sudden sob. My thoughts flashed to friends with mobility issues that would not be able to navigate this route. I realized that this is something that someday I will not be able to experience. In that moment I felt profound grief for what I haven’t yet lost – the ability and freedom to go anywhere without my body limiting me.  Continue reading

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Accessible Travel Guides

Looking to plan a vacation this summer, but you aren’t certain what your options are?  Below are three travel guides available in MSAA’s Lending Library that offer insight into travel ideas and destinations that can accommodate someone with limited mobility:

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Read All About It: MSAA’s Newest Publications

Recently, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America proudly published two new publications: the Winter/Spring 2018 Edition of The Motivator, and the 2018 MS Research Update.

This newest edition of The Motivator features the cover story, “Finding Direction When Newly Diagnosed,” which covers a range of topics including MS basics, treatment options, employment issues, government programs, and more.

The 2018 MS Research Update provides a comprehensive overview of study results on many of the approved and experimental disease-modifying therapies for MS, as well as highlights on new directions in MS research.

Read excerpts from these two publications here:

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