Miranda chats to Paul about what she’s learnt about brain health at ECTRIMS 2016.
Miranda Olding, MS Nurse: And part of that, he was actually also showing how some studies have found that people who are treated before their second relapse of MS accrue less disability. That fed in quite nicely to something that I saw in the break yesterday, which was Professor Giovannoni on brain health. So the brain health thing is a campaign with two sides. He was really focussing on healthcare professionals talking about how we can make MS services more responsive and better, but this is a campaign that people with MS can get involved with. So that’s what it looks like. And it’s really about helping people to get what they need from MS services, so as we were just talking about, trying to get diagnosed more quickly, trying to make sure that they’re supported to get on the right treatment, and also making sure that they’re regularly followed up to make sure that the treatment that you’re on is working effectively and to make sure that you don’t need to switch to an alternative or a more aggressive treatment.
But also part of that, and this is something that I think is very important that I would like to see more of, is pushing people to also adopt a lifestyle which is healthy for the brain. So they’re really only able in this to talk about the things that have been found to have robust enough evidence that’s accepted by the health services. I think there’s even more things you can do with your lifestyle to help stay well when you have MS, but it’s a really good start and I would encourage everybody to go to the website. So that’s… I don’t know what the website is, but it’s something like BrainHealthInMS.org – something like that. So that was good.
Paul: Could you just briefly mention a few of these kind of healthy habits?
Miranda Olding: So the things that they are recommending in brain health is not smoking, managing overweight, becoming not overweight, because both those things have a huge impact on the amount of disability and progression that people with MS get. Not using alcohol in excess, not using salt in excess. Probably other things, and I can’t remember whether they’ve put into that things like vitamin D and low saturated fats and things like that. I think there are some things that they feel the health service can’t accept that there’s enough evidence for yet, but may very well still be very important. So yeah, you’d have to go to the website and check.
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