By Jacob Engels
Last week, Dr. Mark Cascione, Medical Director of the South Tampa Multiple Sclerosis Center sat down with us to talk about MS. Below is our Q&A.
Q1) What is multiple sclerosis (MS) and what are common symptoms?
Dr. Cascione: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, and it affects each person differently. The progression, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease.
Q2) Who is affected by MS?
Dr. Cascione: There are currently approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. who have MS. Most people are diagnosed with MS in their 20s and 30s, and women are two to three times more likely to get MS than men.
Q3) How does MS affect a person’s day to day life?
Dr. Cascione: Many people with MS have families, jobs, and lead full and happy lives. But having the disease can mean making some adjustments to one’s lifestyle, so it’s important to have a support network. I am involved in a national event series called “One Day for Every Day” (sponsored by Genzyme), which brings together people living with relapsing MS, their care partners, and MS experts who can help them navigate the everyday challenges that they may experience with MS. The events are free and include tips on developing and maintaining strong relationships, communicating about MS, and using technology to help make life with MS more manageable. Visit www.1Day4EveryDay.com to learn more.
Q4) What can people with MS do to stay healthy?
Dr. Cascione: Because MS is different for everyone, it can be difficult to predict how the disease will develop and therefore, the way people manage the disease varies greatly from one person to another. It is important to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about your condition and to learn more about new treatment options that may be available, including many that can help delay the progression of MS in many patients.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org