Healthy Living with Primary-Progressive MS

It’s hard to believe we are headed into the last week of MS Awareness Month.  This week we will be focusing on Healthy Living with Primary-Progressive MS.  I know sometimes you may feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the lack of medical advances for PPMS patients.  Please know that according to MSAA’s website, MS research and medications have been making leaps and bounds over the past few years.  While scientists may need several years to accomplish such large goals, today’s approved drugs for MS are effective in slowing down disease activity for individuals with relapsing forms of the disease. This has been a dramatic step toward a cure.  Plus, with studies now being directed to PPMS as well, researchers believe it will only be a matter of time before individuals with PPMS may also have access to several effective disease-modifying treatments.  One medication — Ocrevus™ (ocrelizumab) — has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of PPMS as well as for relapsing forms of MS.  Ocrevus was made available to MS patients starting in 2017.  MSAA’s website has several articles about this new medication and we recommend you talking to your doctor to see if this medication could work for you.

Outside of medical advances, it’s also a good idea to develop healthy habits to combat MS.  Taking care of your overall health can improve your quality of life.

Here are some basic tips for a happier and healthier lifestyle:

  • Choose a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins.
  • Get regular exercise to help strengthen muscles.
  • Practice gentle exercise programs like tai chi and yoga to help with balance & flexibility.
  • Join a support group
  • Talk to family and friends about what you may be going through
  • Stay positive

Additionally, some people find that massage and mediation help to relieve stress and anxiety.  Assistive devices that can help you maintain your independence and freedom are important too.

Also, it is important to stay current on new developments in the MS community.  It is recommended that you educate yourself and join organizations that can provide you with information about PPMS and MS medical advances. One such organization is the Progressive MS Alliance, http://www.progressivemsalliance.org/

Finally, please join MSAA and Steven Bromley, MD for a live “Ask Me Anything” event exploring Primary-Progressive MS on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm Eastern. This online event will be hosted on MSAA’s Facebook page so please follow @MSassociation on Facebook and log in for the AMA on March 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm Eastern.

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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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