Here are some examples of the changes that have occurred:

From three MS nurse posts in 1995, there are about 245 today,2 as well as 89 MS centres.3 In addition, people with MS are now able to benefit from more extensive, and better connected, health professional teams (multi-disciplinary teams), which will potentially include neurologists, nurses, speech therapists, dieticians, and physiotherapists.
Progression of MS is not always easy to spot as the disease may be active even in the absence of a relapse or other symptoms. Advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology means that this technique is being used more regularly as an aid in both diagnosis and disease monitoring, helping people with MS and clinicians to make more informed treatment decisions at any stage.4 Latest statistics show that 59% of neurologists are using MRI to monitor treatment and 42% are using the technology even in the absence of relapse or other symptoms.5

For more information visit the role of MRI in MS.
There are more opportunities for people with MS to get help from supporting services, such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists, as well as access to better equipment to help them continue in their day-to-day life, including significant improvements in mobility equipment. In addition, the number of treatments available which have been clinically proven to slow disease progression of MS has doubled in the last 10 years. There are treatments with different administration methods available, including options that can be injected, infused or taken orally.

Having access to specialists plays a key role in the management choices that are available to you. In fact, research by the MS Society has found that 81% of people who have access to MS specialists and the right information are taking a disease modifying therapy (DMT), versus just 10% of people who do not.6
The Expert Patients Programme (a self-management course) now exists for people with long-term conditions, such as MS, to help empower them to co-manage their own health as far as possible. Click here to find out more.

96% of MS nurses and neurologists think there are people with MS who are eligible, but not currently taking a treatment, who could benefit from reconsidering their decision in light of how the landscape has evolved.1

1 Multiple Sclerosis Clinician Survey of 100 Specialist MS Nurses and Neurologists by Opinion Health in July 2015.

2 A to Z of MS. MS Trust. Available at: www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/ms-specialist-nurses. Last accessed: April 2018.

3 MS 2015 Vision. MS Forum. Available at: www.mssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/Campaigns%20resources/MS%202015%20Vision%20-%20A%20report%20from%20the%20MS%20Forum.pdf. Last accessed: April 2018.

4 Giovannoni G, et al. Brain health: time matters in multiple sclerosis. 2016. Available at: www.msbrainhealth.org/report. Last accessed: April 2018.

5 Schmierer K, et al. The Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the Management of Multiple Sclerosis in the UK. 2014. Available at: jnnp.bmj.com/content/85/10/e4.37. Last accessed: April 2018.

6 MS treatment in England: is access still a lottery? MS Society. Available at: www.mssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/MS%20treatment%20in%20England_0.pdf. Last accessed: April 2018.

“We believe that there are now things to offer in terms of symptom control, understanding the disease and also, for some people, offering treatments that are going to alter the course of the disease.”
Dr Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

How has the MS landscape changed?

Things have changed a lot in MS over the last decade. Previously, there were no treatments available, and people did engage with the services, but often found that after they’d been given the diagnosis, very little was done. So we know there are a lot of people out there with MS who don’t think there’s anything useful to be gained from seeing a doctor or a nurse. We believe that there are now things to offer in terms of symptom control, understanding the disease and also, for some people, offering treatments that are going to alter the course of the disease. So I’m keen that patients come back to see us, or see an appropriate service in their area, and find out what’s available, as things have probably changed. Dr Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

One hugely positive change that I've seen for people with MS is the establishment of psychological services. It’s not just a physical disease, so for patients who struggle with memory, attention problems, planning and decision making, we now understand that these changes occur as a result of MS. Consequently, services are now available for patients to receive support. Dr Anita Rose, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

We now know that we can monitor MS both by looking at the number of relapses people have, and any disability they are developing. We’ve always been able to do that clinically, but now we’re also able to look under the surface to see on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan whether there’s activity there. We can also use this technology to review whether the patient is on the right treatment, and see whether the disease is active even when they think it’s not. MRI has very much changed the way that we think about MS and the way that we manage our treatments. Dr Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

The way MS is being treated, the way we look after MS patients is evolving all the time and even in the last 12 months, there are treatments, new theories, new support, new information that not engaging means you’re missing out on. I know that every patient I see wants to know how to live well with their MS, and in order to do that you need to engage with the services that have that information to support you to do it, to empower you, to enable you. Dr Anita Rose, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

The 1MSg campaign is initiated and funded by Biogen

Phone: +44 1628 501000

Fax: +44 1628 501010

e-mail: 1MSg@biogen.com

BI-PAN-0437l
April 2018