Consortium of MS Centers Annual Meeting – Day 1 Recap

Greetings from Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting!

Peter Damiri at the MSAA booth for CMSC 2013

Senior Director of Programs Peter Damiri at the MSAA booth for CMSC 2013

This week (May 29- June 1, 2013) I have the pleasure of attending the 27th CMSC Annual Meeting. It is easy to get into the mindset that the MS community is small – after all, it is always mentioned that MS is a rare disease. However, the CMSC Annual Meeting is a great example of just how many people care about issues related to the multiple sclerosis (MS) community – from the neurologists and nurses who practice in the MS clinics, to the social workers, patient advocates, and non-profits dedicated to MS. The CMSC meeting is a reminder that many people have dedicated their lives to altering the future of individuals diagnosed with MS, to try and ensure a better future.

Today (May 29), Dr. Robert Herndon provided an introductory speech welcoming everyone to the conference. He gave an overview of MS called “60 Years of Advancement In MS Management.” He explored just how far research has come since 1950 both in terms of the changes in the diagnostic process, “dogma’s” of the time period about MS, and major advances in treatment. It is astounding to think of just how far we have come even though we have a way to go. The dedication of the professionals in the room was apparent, this is an important cause and one that 1,800 attendees at CMSC believe in.

Of the many other programs available today I was also able to attend an educational session called “Pain in Management in MS” with speakers Karyn Seebach, PsyD and Heidi Maloni, PhD, ANP-BC-MSC. Dr. Seebach spoke about psychological approaches in MS pain management, and Dr. Maloni provided an overview of MS pain management and also the controversial cannabis use in MS pain. Many strategies were discussed including looking at the whole person and treating pain as a complex issue which requires a “biopsychosocial” approach (biological, psychological, and social approach). To read more about MS pain management please see our recent issue of The Motivator.

Tomorrow there are a number of other engaging programs, so stay tuned for another CMSC recap later this week!

Peter Damiri at the MSAA booth for CMSC 2013

Another shot of Senior Director of Programs Peter Damiri at the MSAA booth for CMSC 2013

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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.

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