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World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2017 : Exclusive Interview With Mrs. Dolly Khanna

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2017 : Exclusive Interview With Mrs. Dolly Khanna

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  • World MS Day 2017 is being observed on 31st May this year
  • The theme for World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2017 is “ Life With MS”
  • Multiple Sclerosis is a crippling progressive degenerative disorder

World MS Day is observed on the last Wednesday of May to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative disorder that affects the quality of life led by an individual. This year, the day is to be observed on 31st May.

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects the brain and the spinal cord, damaging the myelin sheath that protects the nerve cells. The damage to the myelin sheath prevents nerve signals that occur between the brain and the body.


World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2017 : Exclusive Interview With Mrs. Dolly Khanna

The symptoms of the condition include:
  • Problems with coordination
  • Visual disturbances
  • Feeling of pins and needles, and numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cognitive and problems with memory
The intensity of the disease condition varies with age but the exact cause of the condition is still unknown. Women are affected by multiple sclerosis more often than men, and it usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40.

Some people experience relapsing-remitting MS, characterized by acute phases of symptoms and periods where there are no symptoms or reduction in the intensity of symptoms. In progressive MS, there are no specific acute phases but there is a gradual and progressive loss of function.

Biotin as treatment for MS
There is no known cure for MS but there is ongoing research to find a cure. This World MS Day serves to highlight the need for comprehensive studies to identify potential cures.

Recently, biotin has been found to be effective in patients with MS. Initial studies have shown that biotin benefits myelin and could serve as an energy source for neurons. The study called SP12 was conducted on 600 study participants, spread across Europe and U.S. The participants showed significant improvements in the symptoms of MS when they were administered with 300mg of biotin.

Further studies are required to support the current evidence of the benefits of biotin; however, people with MS should include a wholesome diet that is rich in biotin from natural sources.

Theme for World MS Day 2017
The theme for this world MS Day 2017 is "Life With MS";it is used to highlight the issues faced by people with MS.

To understand the challenges faced by people with MS, Medindia conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Dolly Khanna, an MS patient and the Founder Secretary of the MS Society, Chennai Chapter.

Dr. Dolly Khanna

Medindia: When were you diagnosed with MS and how has your life been since then?

Mrs. Dolly Khanna: I was diagnosed when I was 27 years old and since then my life has been a roller coaster.

Medindia: What were your symptoms at the time of diagnosis?

Mrs. Dolly Khanna: I lost vision in one eye and I couldn't move my hand and leg. That's when my doctor Dr. Arjundas diagnosed me with Multiple Sclerosis. It was a shocking diagnosis as at that time there was very little awareness about the disease condition.

The medicines had to be brought from the U.S and many a time, the medicines were delivered post expiry date.

Medindia: How has treatment undergone changes since the late 1970s?

Mrs. Dolly Khanna: There has been a sea change in the treatment and diagnosis of MS in India. There are better diagnostic procedures and the medicines are available here. Earlier, the diagnosis was carried out too late, after the onset of irreversible changes. Now the condition is diagnosed early and there is better care provided. However, there is a lot of research that needs to be funded for better treatment methods.

Medindia: How did your family react to your condition?

Mrs. Dolly Khanna: My family was very supportive. My husband refused to let me sit down and asked me to keep moving around. My daughters were small then, but they have grown up now and have supported me along the way. My mentor and greatest support has been Dr. Arjundas.

Good family support is very essential for anyone affected with MS. You are very dependent on them and their love and affection is what will keep you going. Even at this age my daughters don't let me sit idle, they keep taking me out and keep me involved with many activities.

Medindia: How did you become involved with Multiple Sclerosis Society?

Mrs. Dolly Khanna: There was a complete lack of awareness in the late '70s and I felt I needed to give back to society what I had benefited. People with MS needed support and I understood their need since I was also afflicted with the same condition.

Medindia: What is your message to people on this World MS Day 2017?

Mrs. Dolly Khanna: "Keep moving". Don't stop doing what you love, the more you sit down the more the problem will seem huge. Just keep moving. That's the best way to handle this condition.

Multiple Sclerosis should not keep you away from friends and family and doing things that you love. In fact staying as active as possible will help you overcome the situation much better. If my husband had let me be, I would not have led such a full and active life. He refused to give up and has been a strong pillar of support.

References :
  1. Awareness - Together We Are Stronger - (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Get-Involved/Raise-Awareness)
  2. World MS Day - (https://www.msif.org/about-us/advocacy/world-ms-day/)
  3. Life with MS - (https://worldmsday.org/)
Source: Medindia

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