Spots Still Open for MSAA’s Children’s Program in Denver, CO

There are several open registrations remaining for MSAA’s upcoming patient education program at Dave & Buster’s in Denver, CO on Saturday, June 15th at 9 am. The free program titled, Bridging the Communication Gap between Parents with MS and Their Children, invites parents and children to come together for special workshops which teach parents how to talk to their children about MS and enable children to learn about living with MS in a supportive manner through fun, interactive games and activities. The morning begins with a full breakfast buffet and ends with each child registered receiving a free $10 Power Card for video and arcade games following the program. Registration is required by June 13, 2013. To register, please call the RSVP at (800) 532-7667, extension 155 or RSVP online at

The Denver event marks the third children’s program in a series of six this year which are scheduled across the United States. The presenters include Dr. David Rintell from Harvard Medical School and Sue Rehmus, MSAA board member and founder of her own nonprofit, Children’s Hope for Understanding Multiple Sclerosis (CHUMS). After a summer break, the remaining children’s programs will begin in the fall and are scheduled for September 21st in Boston, MA; October 19th in Baltimore, MD; and November 9th in Orlando, FL. The response to these programs has been tremendous and we would love to get your feedback if you have attended pervious programs or want MSAA to bring a children’s program to your area. Please let us know by responding to this post, emailing us at or calling (800) 532-7667, extension 154.


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Consortium of MS Centers Annual Meeting – Part 2

Today has been an action packed day here at CMSC with scheduled presentation offerings from a wide array of specialists. This morning, I attended an interactive session designed for social workers or nurse case managers in discussing the multidisciplinary approach to many different types of client interactions for approaching difficult situations in practice and MS clinics.

This afternoon I was able to attend a program called “Progressive MS” put on by Dr. Patricia Coyle. Dr. Coyle, provided an overview of the history of progressive forms of MS, their etiology, the diagnostic process and considering potential differential diagnoses, and possible future therapies which are entering clinical trials including studies on:  Hydroxyurea, Amiloride, Lipoic Acid, BAF312, Masitinib, and Fingolimod. You can read about some of these studies in our 2013 Research Update.

Additionally, Dr. Coyle emphasized that in her patients she encourages making sure that Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels are normalized, that general health issues including diet and exercise are appropriately managed, trying to have good sleep hygiene, as well as a care plan to best manage symptoms. All of these factors together contribute to a plan for management of Progressive forms of MS.

These two sessions were only a few held this day, with other programs ranging from discussions of “MS Mimickers” and “Long Term Outcomes in MS.” In addition, there was an open poster session which provided an interaction and discussion opportunities about emerging research and abstract papers.

This Consortium is a great opportunity for all individuals involved in the care of MS patients to collaborate and discuss ways to best improve the comprehensive care plan and multi-disciplinary approach to MS management.

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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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Latest Issue of The Motivator Now Available!

Read about the following topics in MSAA’s latest issue of The Motivator:

Cover Stormotivator winter_spring 2013y:
* The Hidden Symptoms of MS
This article describes some of the hidden symptoms of MS (including pain, fatigue, sleep, cognition, and vision), along with management strategies.
Read the full story

Research News:
* American Academy of Neurology Meeting Highlights
* Tecfidera™ Approved for the Long-Term Treatment of MS
Read the full story

Health and Wellness:
* The Affordable Care Act and You
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to increase the availability and affordability of health insurance for millions of Americans who lack coverage. Beginning in January 2014, this historic initiative will significantly impact a substantial number of individuals with multiple sclerosis and their families.
Read the full story

Already receive a printed copy of The Motivator magazine in the mail? Interested in receiving The Motivator electronically only? Let us know! Please visit

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Swim for MS Update – May 2013

Summer is almost here! Start to plan your summer Swim for MS event today!

Looking for some ideas for your summer Swim for MS, consider these options:
1.    Host a summer pool party for Memorial Day weekend!
2.    Set a goal to swim 500 laps throughout the summer to raise $1,000!
3.    Create a pool volleyball tournament with your friends!
4.    Participate in Swim for MS and pledge to swim 100 laps and improve your fitness by the end of summer!

MSAA’s Special Swim for MS May Prize…is a Modify Watch!
Anyone who registers for Swim for MS will be entered to win a Modify Watch! Modify Watches are interchangeable watches allowing an individual to mix-and-match faces and straps to create the “Mod” that best suits you! Browse the Modify Watches blog for more information on their nonprofit collection and how to purchase a “Together” watch.

Please note: participants must register during the month of May 2013 (5/1/2013 through 5/31/2013) in order to be eligible. The winner will be announced via email in the June 2013 edition of the Swim for MS News e-newsletter.

The May 2013 Winner is…
Missy Franklin Autographed Photo:
Congratulations to Laurieann Hart for raising $1,220 through Swim for MS in the month of April!

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Highlights from the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) 65th Annual Meeting took place in San Diego, California in March. This large medical conference presents the latest findings in research and treatments for neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS). MSAA has compiled important highlights from the meeting in the following article on


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MSAA’s Senior Director of Patient and Healthcare Relations Featured on K-LOVE Radio

Cindy Richman, MSAA’s Senior Director of Patient and Healthcare Relations, was recently featured on K-LOVE Radio as a part of the Closer Look segment that the station produces. If you missed Cindy’s interview you can hear it here:


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MSAA’s MS Research Update

MSAA's Research Update 2013MSAA’s MS Research Update is a comprehensive overview of research findings on the FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies, as well as many experimental treatments.

This 2013 edition of MSAA’s MS Research Update is the first to be printed as a stand-alone issue, reflecting the diversity and scope of research progress in MS. This information is based on a wide range of sources, including the extensive journal literature on MS and its management, a review of ongoing clinical trials, and papers presented at major national and international conferences.

Read MSAA’s latest MS Research Update.

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Read MSAA’s latest issue of The Motivator

Cover for Summer-Fall 2012 issue of The MotivatorThe latest issue of MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator, is out now – read it online, download a version to your computer, or order a copy today.

Included in the online issue:

* Cover Story – The Evolution of MS Diagnosis, Treatment, and Care

* Research News – Aubagio® approval and other research updates

* Health and Wellness – The benefits of aquatic therapy and exercise

…Plus, extra “Ask the Doctor” answers, not included in the printed magazine!


The Evolution of MS Diagnosis, Treatment, and Care:

From the mid-1800s to the late 1900s, diagnostic criteria and therapies were fraught with uncertainty – and required more than a century of trial and error to reach today’s high level of success. Seventeen MS specialists are quoted, giving details about the most important contributions in MS history.

Read the full story

Research News:

Read about the recent FDA-approval of Aubagio® (teriflunomide), as well as updates on DMF (dimethyl fumarate) and Lemtrada™ (alemtuzumab), both submitted for FDA approval.

Read the full story

Health and Wellness:

Aquatic therapy and aquatic exercise are described, along with the benefits that they offer to individuals with MS.

Read the full story

The Motivator is MSAA’s award-winning magazine provided to the MS community and to our generous supporters.

Read the latest issue of The Motivator

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