World MS Day 2022, connections and research

World MS Day brings the global MS community together on May 30 to share stories, raise awareness and campaign with and on behalf of everyone affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). 

As the member organisation of the MS International Federation in Australia, MS Australia proudly leads the World MS Day initiative in Australia.  

The four-year global World MS Day ‘Connections’ theme and ‘MS Connections’ campaign (2020 – 2023), aims to build community connection, self-connection and connections to quality care through events, resources and initiatives. The campaign seeks to challenge social barriers that can leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and socially isolated, and to advocate for better services, celebrate support networks and champion self-care. 

MS Australia’s World MS Day 2022 focus is on Employment and MS and its link to community connection. On Monday, May 30 we will launch findings from a major survey on this topic, as well as updated online information guides for employers and employees. 

On Friday, May 27, MS Australia President, Associate Professor Desmond Graham will chair Research with Connections 2022: a symposium on MS in Launceston, Tasmania presented by the Menzies Institute for Medical Research’s MS Research Flagship. Alongside co-event partner, our Member Organisation MS Limited, we look forward to this day of research updates and community presentations, ahead of World MS Day. 

MS researchers, advocates, wellbeing and policy experts, a parliamentarian and people living with MS will speak on a range of topics, highlighting the work underway in MS research and other areas, to improve the lives of people living with and affected by MS.  

Following an opening address by Senator Wendy Askew (Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of MS), program sessions will include:  

The research journey of employment in people living with MS 

  • Art, Life, and MS from the lived experience 
  • Understanding self-concept change from the person living with MS 
  • The impact of COVID-19 on quality of life 
  • Changes in cognition over time in MS 
  • Consumer and community involvement in research 
  • Examining the safety of magnetic brain stimulation for people living with MS 
  • Determining the effectiveness of magnetic brain stimulation at promoting re-myelination 
  • Finding MS genes through families and stem cells  
  • Research outcomes from the Understanding MS Massive Open Online Course 
  • Gaps in MS health services and the role of advocacy 

Insight into the work of the MS Research Flagship, which is part of the College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania will feature throughout the day, as well as opportunities for consumer and community involvement in research. 

MS Australia, MS Limited and the Menzies’ MS Research Flagship are closely aligned and provide capacity and mutual support, also to other research institutions, our other members, and our highly engaged volunteers and community. 

As a person living with MS and reflecting on the significance of the ‘Connections’ theme, Associate Professor Graham has identified World MS Day as the marker to supercharge the MS research agenda, calling on Parliamentary leaders to assist us to end MS once and for all.  

“We are making strong strides every day toward better treatments, disease prevention and the holy grail, a cure for MS.” 

“MS Australia believes we are on the cusp of something great, having recently applauded the record $18 million in funding for MS research allocated in the 2022-2023 federal budget. This is in no small part due to our determined advocacy and lobbying to government and which, on top of a $4 million grant opportunity announced in December 2021 for a clinical trial that tests nerve repair and protection therapeutics for MS, provides $22 million for MS research. More money is needed but it is a significant start.” 

You can get involved in World MS Day 2022 by sharing the World MS Day tools on social media, holding or attending an event, sharing connections or employment experiences, connecting people affected by MS to MS research and by lobbying politicians to make positive changes for people affected by MS. 

Connie The May 50K story

Thank you. You’ve raised over $3.5M for life-changing MS research

May has been a fun-filled month with 19,467 people across Australia getting active to raise money to accelerate research into the prevention, treatments and ultimately a cure for multiple sclerosis.
Rohan Greenland The May 50K

From our CEO

World MS Day – held on May 30 each year – was a memorable one. For me, four events stood out. 

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World MS Day 2022, connections and research