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Biogen Idec
17 Oct 2011

Mobility Matters

Campaign launched to highlight importance of Impaired Mobility in Multiple Sclerosis


According to new research released today (Monday, 17th October 2011) 54% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are very or extremely affected by decreased mobility in terms of their quality of life.  The research was announced at the launch of a new campaign supported by Biogen Idec and MS Ireland entitled ‘Mobility Matters in MS’. Mobility impairment is one of the most physically and emotionally disruptive aspects of MS as it restricts daily life, can result in a loss of independence and can affect a patient’s ability to work. 

Over 7,000 people and families live with MS across Ireland. MS is a progressive neurological condition that can affect a person’s health, lifestyle and relationships. While mobility is the main factor affecting patients’ day-to-day living, the condition also greatly impacts other areas of their lives.

- 55% of respondents say they are extremely / very affected by decreased daily living activities

- 54% say they are extremely / very affected by decreased mobility

- 53% claim to be very / extremely affected by decreased sexual function

Speaking at the launch of the campaign today, Ava Battles, Chief Executive of MS Ireland said “MS Ireland welcomes the launch of Biogen Idec’s Mobility Matters in MS campaign. Through our ‘Getting The Balance Right’ programme we have delivered thousands of physiotherapy and exercise related programmes we really understand how important mobility is for people with Multiple Sclerosis. The Mobility Matters in MS website is a valuable resource for patients and healthcare professionals alike, as well as carers, family and friends. The site has a combination of practical tips on managing everyday tasks, as well as advice on what people with MS can do to be as mobile as possible.”

Consultant Neurologist Chris McGuigan at St Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin said, “People with MS can improve their mobility in many ways. Apart from maintaining their general health in terms of diet and exercise, it’s important for them to recognise the areas, which are posing the greatest challenges so that they can be addressed. Common problem areas with mobility include balance, poor vision and impaired sensation in feet and legs. Access to structured physical and occupational therapy, with additional medication where appropriate, can help improve safety when walking.”

To read full press release click here.

Our friend Anne Marie Hayden features in 'Real Lives’ a series of patient videos which provide a first-hand account of the issue of mobility. View here

To support the campaign, a new website, has been developed, providing advice and encouragement to people with MS on how to maintain and increase their mobility.

MS Ireland
17 Oct 2011

Opinions Needed: Sativex and the Medicinal Use of Cannabis

Earlier in the year MS Ireland wrote to the Minister for Health and Children Dr James Reilly regarding the licensing of Sativex, a cannabis based drug to treat spasticity for people with MS.

The oral spray is available in the UK and other countries but not in Ireland. The department is now considering the matter and we will be making a representation to them on behalf of our members and clients.

We would love to hear the comments, views and experiences of the MS community so please email us, confidentially, on No personal information will disseminated. 

MS Ireland
14 Sep 2011

MS Living a Great Success

MS Ireland hosted Ireland's biggest MS event in celebration of our 50th Anniversary.

President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, MS Ireland's Chief Executive, Anne Winslow & MS Ireland's Board Members

Our MSLiving Convention and Research Symposium held on the 9th - 11th September at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin shared the latest developments in MS research, discussed practical ways to meet the challenges MS may bring and was a social opportunity for people to meet and talk about MS.

Friday, 9th September

Research Symposium:

MS Ireland hosted Ireland's first research symposium on MS. A number of national and international speakers presented a variety of aspects of MS Research.

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Saturday, 10th September

President’s Address:

MS Ireland was honoured to welcome our Patron, President of Ireland, Mary McAleese

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Main Convention:

A weekend of talks, workshops, exhibitors and social events

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Presentation for International Person with MS:

Allen O’Connor was presented with MSIF’s 2011 James D. Wolfensohn Award for International Person with MS by Peer Baneke of MSIF

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Gala Dinner and Annual Awards:

Each year we seek nominations to our National Awards for MS Person of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Carer of the Year. The purpose of these awards are to formally recognise the contribution people play in the lives of their family, their community and our Society. We are delighted to announce the Award winners:

MS Ireland Person of the Year 2011: Mark Mitchell

MS Ireland Carer of the Year 2011: Vanessa O' Donovan

MS Ireland Volunteer of the Year 2011: Maureen Feeney

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Sunday, 11th September

Annual General Meeting:

MS Ireland 12th Annual General Meeting 2011 (51st AGM since its foundation) was held on Sunday 11th September at 10.30am.

Board Member Profiles 2011-2012 
Annual Report:

This report gives an overview of our work for our members, volunteers, many supporters, our funding agencies as well as providing details of our financial position.

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