Learn about MS
This Roadmap sets out what is needed within the next 10 years to ensure that we can prevent and ultimately defeat MS. And we want to ensure that everyone with MS has effective and appropriate management and interventions.
This Roadmap sets out what is needed within the next 10 years to ensure that we can continue to support people ageing with MS, especially those aged over 65 living with a disability. We want to make sure that everyone with MS has effective and appropriate management, interventions and support.
When a child is diagnosed with MS, or MS has been suggested as a possible cause for their symptoms, parents may have many questions: What caused it? How will it affect my child? Can it be cured? What does the future hold? Childhood MS: A guide for parents aims to provide answers to some of these questions.
Suitable for primary school aged children and younger. A useful resource that helps explain some of the common symptoms and problems associated with having MS. It also includes activities.
MS Australia, on behalf of the broader MS community, seeks commitments from all political parties and independents, to the nine initiatives in these Roadmaps that will each make significant improvements for people living with MS in Australia.
A comprehensive introduction to MS including information about adjusting to diagnosis, medical treatments, living well with MS and research.
Suitable for younger readers (10 years +) and for those wanting an overview of the disease and its effects.
Wellbeing & MS
Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) enjoy participating in aquatic exercise. An aquatic exercise program is suitable for people of all abilities, can be adapted to your needs, and has a range of health benefits.
About half of people living with MS experience issues with aspects of thinking or ‘cognition’. Typically presenting as poor memory and trouble concentrating, this change is often described as ‘fuzziness’ or ‘brain fog’.
Many people with MS experience some form of bladder or bowel issues. Incontinence is the most common symptom for people with MS - the severity and longevity varies from person to person. With the right information and support, incontinence can be managed effectively to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Depression is common in MS. Around half of people diagnosed will have a depressive episode - three times higher than for the general population. Identifying depression and seeking early treatment is key. With the right information and support, depression can be managed effectively to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
To drive safely you need good perception, judgement, responsiveness and reasonable physical capability. As the MS experience (and symptoms) differ for everyone, so too can the impact on driving vary from person to person.
Deciding whether to disclose a diagnosis of MS is not simple. In general, the decision should be based on your own needs and priorities, whilst also taking into account the needs and priorities of those who you choose to tell. There is no single answer or strategy that is right for everyone. It may help to take some time to consider the possible benefits and consequences of making your diagnosis public.
Regular recreation, active living and a personalised exercise program can help you to live well with MS. Exercise does not trigger a relapse (exacerbation) of MS or adversely affect the disease process.
MS fatigue is common in MS and can significantly disrupt your ability to work and function. Managing fatigue involves maximising and using energy efficiently. With the right information and support, MS fatigue can be minimised or managed effectively to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
There are many benefits of fitness exercise, such as reduction in fatigue and prevention of some diseases (e.g. osteoporosis). Regular fitness exercise also improves heart and lung function, circulation to the feet, legs and hands, flexibility, and muscle strength and tone. In addition, increased fitness can enhance quality of sleep, mood and sense of wellbeing and can assist with a regular bowel routine.
The future is often unpredictable. Planning ahead enables individuals to maintain control over their affairs (and the welfare of their dependent families) if they are no longer present or unable to make informed decisions due to illness or injury. As such, there are a number of legal arrangements that are important for everyone to consider.
Many people with MS find that heat can make their symptoms worse – which symptom and the severity, varies from person to person. Whilst it’s common to experience a flare up of symptoms when hot, the effect is temporary and should calm down when you’re cool again. With the right information and support, heat issues can be minimised or managed effectively to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Pain covers a wide range of unpleasant physical sensations, but everyone - people living without or with MS - experiences it differently. Pain can be long lasting and impact daily life, or come in short irritating bouts. For many people with MS, pain may occur at any point, is often chronic and can be caused by other symptoms (like spasticity). For others, pain can be minimal or non-existent.
Having a baby is an important decision; however, given the complexity of multiple sclerosis (MS), this decision can become more complicated. This information sheet provides an overview of some of the more commonly asked questions about pregnancy and MS.
Spasticity is a symptom of MS that causes your muscles to feel stiff, heavy and difficult to move. A spasm is a sudden stiffening of a muscle, which may cause a limb to kick out or jerk towards your body. Whilst many people experience these issues, for most they are occasional symptoms.
Studies have demonstrated that people with MS can prevent or reverse secondary weakness (due to disuse), improve their quality of life, and slow down progression of disability by engaging in strength training activities.
Visual problems are often the first symptoms associated with MS. More than half of people with MS will experience at least one issue with vision. Identifying this and seeking early treatment is key. With the right information and support, vision issues can be managed effectively to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.