Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★ (black&white)
I once proposed the question, “ask not what your healthcare professional (HCP) or MS research community can do for you, but what you can do for yourself?” and had quite a lot of pushback from some readers. Why?
I started developing this diagram more than a decade ago summarising the holistic management of MS. What I mean by this is that if we, or more importantly you in partnership with your HCP, address every item on this diagram you should be able to optimise the management of your MS and maximise your brain health.
Surely the therapeutic aim in MS must be to get every person with MS to old age with as healthy a central nervous system as possible so that you can age normally. I find it difficult to communicate such a long term target to my patients and their families because most people, including the healthcare community, have relatively short or intermediate-term goals.
Please note the diagram on the holistic management of MS is not all black-and-white but has some shades of grey. The reason for the grey boxes is that we are not there yet in terms of having licensed treatments, but we are working on them. You may realise that this diagram covers the management of not only active MS, but smouldering disease as well.
Please note there is some overlap between MS-specific targets and non-MS or brain health targets, for example, exercise is neuroprotective and promotes remyelination and recovery. Every item on the diagram above has been covered before on this blog so nothing should come as a surprise to you unless you are new to the blog.
Are you up for taking on the ‘Holistic Management Challenge’ yourself? Do you have enough information? Do you have enough support from your HCP to do so?
General Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed here are those of Professor Giovannoni and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry nor Barts Health NHS Trust and are not meant to be interpreted as personal clinical advice.