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There are now 2.8 million people worldwide who have multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the most extensive global study to date. This video shows you the faces behind the figures. The MS International Federation’s most accurate estimate yet shows that there are at least 1 in 3,000 people living with the disease. The Atlas of MS reveals that the number of people living with MS has increased in every world region since 2013.

Although better counting methods, more accurate diagnosis rates and population growth are just some of the factors behind the rise, an increased risk of developing MS cannot be ruled out. Currently, every five minutes, someone, somewhere in the world is diagnosed with MS. Typically, MS is diagnosed in people’s 20s and 30s, but it can occur at any age, with the global average age of diagnosis being 32 years, it is important that support mechanisms are available to enable people to live the lives they wish. Despite common misconceptions though, MS is not just a condition of adults. The global study reveals that there are at least 30,000 under-18s living with MS.

The MS International Federation calls for stronger awareness about the development of MS in children and young people. Although this is the most extensive worldwide study that maps and counts MS, there are still big gaps in the global evidence. The MS International Federation calls on governments, health professionals, patient organisations and others to improve collection of data on MS. Only by doing this will the true global burden of MS be visible. Here you can watch the people behind the numbers, here are the global faces of MS.

Published: 2020

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