AuthorRachel Horne

Life after Lockdown with MS

Is it time to hit the pubs, give hugs and bin masks? Five experts answer. After a year of lockdown, it looks like ‘normality’ is returning thanks to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. For an overwhelming percentage of the population, this is hugely reassuring. And for those people with multiple sclerosis (MS) – doubly so.  We know our disease makes us more susceptible to infections...

MS charities – beyond the pale

UK MS charities say they represent all people with the disease. But how can they – with so little ethnic and racial diversity at the top? Take a look: “Representation is important,” says Dr Sharmilee Gnanapavan, consultant neurologist at Barts Health NHS Trust. “When people don’t see this, they’ll likely bypass it.” And that representation – judging...

MS and the Covid-19 vaccines.

Friend or Foe? After months of pandemic devastation, the approval and rollout of two Covid-19 vaccines in the UK has been widely celebrated – and rightly so. But for people with multiple sclerosis – especially those on immunosuppressant drugs – it has led to much confusion. How safe are the vaccines? When is the optimum time to get it? Will it be effective? Knowing this, four MS...

Freezing for MS

Kit’s Cornish Splash for Barts-MS research From her home in Cornwall, Catherine “Kit” Williams has been following Prof Gavin Giovannoni’s efforts to raise money to support Barts-MS Research by walking 5km while recovering from a fractured neck and pelvis. And it’s left her concerned.  “He has done his bit and got injured,” says Williams, a retired teacher. “I expect he thinks he’ll be OK...

MS and Vitamin D: How much is enough? Fifteen neurologists weigh in.

In recent years, testing and supplementation of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ has become of great interest to neurologists and those of us with multiple sclerosis. It’s easy to see why. MS has been linked to vitamin D deficiency – both as a risk factor for disease development and following diagnosis. People with MS also have an increased risk of fracture – due to falls. So it seems...

MSVirtual2020 #SoWhite

Last week, I sat down and watched this year’s virtual joint ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS Congress – the world’s largest annual conference dedicated to multiple sclerosis. Over three days, nearly two hundred leading MS clinicians, scientists and health care professionals appeared on the screen presenting the latest research and treatment on the disease. Most of them, I noticed, were White. Not...

The Kingdom of the Sick

By Rachel Horne For all of us with multiple sclerosis, our story is the same.  One day we got sick and we never got better. Instead we were plunged into the strange hinterland of chronic illness – located between a headache and terminal cancer – where our disease won’t kill us, but it will never go away; where we will undergo treatments, but never a cure – and where we...

The human side of MS and Research: A short film

By Rachel Horne        The invitation came a year ago from University College London Hospitals. Would I be interested in being part of a film that looked at how research impacts people with MS? Why not? I’d been in a few of these over the years. A morning filming, a few questions posed to the experts, some vigorous on-camera nodding – and by the afternoon I’d be on my way. Then I looked at...

MS and Dogs

Dogs are being trained to sniff out Covid-19. But for many with MS, they’re already proven live-savers… By Rachel Horne There are two things which changed Janette Coombs life. One was a faceless, degenerative disease which raced through her body – stripping her of her mobility, her self-confidence and her independence. And the other? He has soft brown eyes, four legs and never leaves her...

MSers and COVID-19: trying to find clarity in the confusion

By Rachel Horne Recently a great post on Shift.ms – the social network for people with multiple sclerosis – caught my eye. Titled “We’ve got this…” the writer “Clare80” sums up how people with MS may be better at dealing with the coronavirus outbreak – compared to those around us. Because we live with the disease, we are used to: being stuck in limbo and living with uncertainty...

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