To the editor:
I am raising awareness for multiple sclerosis and have been for the past several years. Better known as MS, it is an unpredictable, often disabling, disease of the central nervous system. It interrupts flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Patient symptoms vary and range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. It affects more than 400,000 people in the United States.
Our bodies are in constant motion - moving information from the brain to the body. MS stops people from moving by attacking myelin that protects normal nerve tissue. The damage keeps people from moving smoothly, both inside and out. Many have trouble imagining what their lives would be without the ability to move, but I know the effects of MS as I have MS.
On March 1, I will again take initiative to attend the Carroll County Commissioners meeting and speak with them regarding MS. In their return, I am asking they accept a proclamation I constructed and recognize in Carroll County, being one of the 88 counties in Ohio, that March is MS Awareness Month in the state of Ohio as signed into law by former Gov. Robert Taft on March 2, 2006.
March will be another stepping stone with MS as it has been announced a new FDA-approved oral medication, Ampyra, will be introduced. Currently the only prescribed MS medications are administered by shot injections. Information obtained about Ampyra indicates the active ingredient in Ampyra is a sustained-release formula of 4-aminopyridine, which blocks tiny pores on the surface of nerve fibers. This blocking ability may improve the transmission of signals in nerve fibers whose insulating myelin coating has been damaged by MS. No information about the drug's cost has been released.
I ask for your help in raising MS awareness because this is a battle we can, and should win.
Edward L. Hale
Carroll County MS Activist