The final issue of MS in focus magazine in the current format is all about ageing with MS. Even though MS is often described as a disease of young and middle aged adults, about 10 per cent of all people who are living with MS are over 65. Trends towards increasing life expectancy suggest that their numbers are likely to increase over time.
In the past, it was commonly believed that MS reduced life expectancy. Over the past 40 years, longer life expectancies plus improvements in MS-specific care have contributed to longer average survival times for people with MS.
In addition, it has been recognised that reductions in life expectancy of people with MS tend to be associated with advanced disability, progressive disease course, and related complications.
Perhaps because of these changes, interest in ageing with MS has been growing over the past 10 to 20 years among scientists, health care providers, families and individuals.
This issue of MS in focus reflects this growing interest and recognises that attention must be given to this important aspect of a person’s life and health care.
This issue includes articles by MS experts from around the world including:
- Simone Veronese and Alessandra Solari from Italy, on palliative care
- Margaret Cadden, Gray Vargas and Peter Arnett from Pennsylvania State University,USA, on cognition and emotions
- Mette Harpsøe Nielsen and Marianne Kjærem Nielsen from the Danish MS Society, on common concerns.
Later in 2015, MS will reappear in a new online format, and will from then be published quarterly rather than twice a year.