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March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide, and in the United States alone, about 200 new people are diagnosed each week. Those are just a couple of the many reasons why the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) recognizes March as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. What more do we know about MS? Doctors are unsure of the root cause of the condition, but women are twice as likely as men to develop MS. Additionally, the farther away from the equator you live, the greater likelihood you’ll experience MS – overall, your lifetime chance of developing MS is about 1 in 1,000.1 Did you know that there are four different types of MS? Each one affects people a little differently. Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) affects the large majority (85 percent) of MS patients, and this type features clearly defined periods when symptoms get worse and activity decreases. Primary-progressive MS (PPMS) causes a clear progression of symptoms and equally affects men and women. Secondary-progressive (SPMS) is a form of PPMS which is initially diagnosed in only about 10 percent of patients. Progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS) is found in only 5 percent of MS patients, but these people have both clear relapses …

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PatientsLikeMe and Cancer Treatment Centers of America Eastern team up to support survivors

Online Network Connects Patients, Offers Valuable Information and Tools CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—October 8, 2014—PatientsLikeMe and Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern) have joined forces to help ease patients’ transitions from cancer treatment to survivorship. The collaborative effort is designed to give patients undergoing or completing treatment direct access to a powerful online network for daily support, information and tools. Offering a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment, CTCA at Eastern sees patients from around the world. “Since so many of our patients are from out of town, it’s incredibly important that we connect them with resources that extend their support and care when they go back home,” said Vice President of Marketing John Goodchild. “PatientsLikeMe will be an important addition to what we do and a way for our patients to not only get great support and services, but to contribute data that could prove valuable for future cancer research.” PatientsLikeMe’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Patient Advocacy Michael Evers said CTCA at Eastern and its clinicians will be helping patients access one of the most powerful and active patient networks online. “Our members share information about how they’re managing their condition and …

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Taking action for lupus awareness in May

If you think you look good in purple, you’re in luck – today is Put on Purple Day, sponsored by the Lupus Foundation of America. As part of the greater Lupus Awareness (Action!) Month in May, today is your chance to make lupus visible and learn about the effects of this chronic inflammatory condition. Lupus is classified as an immunological disorder by the National Institute of Health, which means that it can affect anything from your joints, skin and kidneys to your heart, lungs and brain.1 Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common type of lupus, but there are a few other kinds that are much more rare. The cause of lupus is unknown, and anyone can be diagnosed, although it mostly affects women. Some common symptoms of lupus include: Pain or swelling in joints and muscle pain Fever with no known cause Red rashes, most often on the face Chest pain when taking a deep breath Hair loss Pale or purple fingers or toes Sensitivity to the sun Swelling in legs or around eyes Mouth ulcers Swollen glands Since these symptoms are frequently caused by many other health conditions, you can see why getting diagnosed with lupus can be a …

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Let’s talk about Huntington’s Disease

May is packed with mental health awareness, and we’re continuing to recognize neurological conditions through Huntington’s Disease (HD) Awareness Month. HD is a mental health condition that affects brain cells (neurons) and causes them to degenerate over time. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), HD can only be passed down from parent to child through a genetic mutation. If a child has a parent with the HD gene, he or she has a 50% chance of inheriting it – and all people who have the gene will eventually develop HD.1 The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) states that about 1 in 10,000 Americans are affected by HD, and symptoms typically begin between the ages of 30 and 50.1 2 There is no current cure for HD, but some treatments help to limit certain symptoms like involuntary muscle movement. If you’re looking to learn more about HD or get involved during HD Awareness Month, the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) has a great advocacy video up on YouTube (check it out below), and the organization is always looking for e-advocates to join their “Let’s Talk about HD” campaign. And you can always find support and info from others that …

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