Multiple Sclerosis :: Customizable solutions to people with multiple sclerosis

Berlex, Microsoft, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Embark on Landmark Collaboration to Help People with MS Maintain Their Health and Stay Connected.

In today?s fast-paced, digital environment, more people are embracing the technology that has revolutionized the way we conduct business, interact with our family and friends, and manage our households.

For some people with multiple sclerosis (MS), technological advances may offer benefits, but they can also pose challenges. Due to some MS symptoms, everyday tasks such as seeing a blinking cursor on a computer screen, manipulating a mouse, or remembering when to take medication may prove difficult. Industry leaders think they may be able to change this.

Recognizing the advantages that technology can bring to people with MS, leaders from three specialty areas ? pharmaceutical, technology, and patient advocacy ? have come together to improve the way technology may help people with MS maintain their health and independence, have support for their life choices, and stay connected with their families, friends, and communities.

In this landmark alliance known as the MS Technology Collaborative, Berlex, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany; Microsoft Corp.; and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will work together to better understand the needs of people with MS and to help provide access to the technology and resources they need to stay connected to their communities and the world. A project steering committee comprised of people with MS from across the country will oversee these efforts to help ensure that the outcomes from the project truly address the unmet needs of the MS Community.

MS is an unpredictable neurological disease that affects an estimated 400,000 people in theUnited States. A new case is diagnosed every hour. Often, MS is diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 to 50. It can cause vision problems, tingling or numbness, trouble maintaining balance, fatigue or weakness, loss of coordination, problems with walking, or lapses in memory. These problems might be permanent, or they might come and go without warning. While there is no cure for MS, early and effective treatment is an important component of helping to control its progression. One goal of the MS Technology Collaborative is to explore the ways in which effective treatment and the use of accessible technology can together enhance the lives of people with MS.

?Having MS means something different to each person with the disease, so we are especially excited to identify new and customizable solutions to help expand and simplify how people with MS stay connected to those around them,? said Joyce Nelson, President and CEO, National MS Society. ?We want to help people with MS connect and move forward in the world in ways that support their individual needs ? not the other way around.?

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