March is MSA Awareness Month. Raising awareness and understanding of multiple system atrophy could really help people with the condition. Thank you for taking the time to find out more.
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a neurological condition. It is caused by the shrinking or atrophy of nerve cells in several areas of the brain. This can result in problems with movement, balance and autonomic functions of the body such as bladder and blood pressure control. The condition usually starts between the ages of 50-60 years, but it can affect people younger and older. It affects men and women and currently there is no cure.
MSA is degenerative, which means that unfortunately symptoms are likely to worsen over a period of time. In due course the need to rely on others for help may arise. It is also relatively rare – it affects about 5 people per 100,000 so at any one time there are almost 3,300 people living with MSA in the UK and Ireland. This means that most people will never have heard of the condition, unless they themselves have already met someone with MSA. Sadly, this is also true for a lot of health professionals which is why the MSA Trust works to raise awareness and increase understanding of MSA throughout the UK and Ireland.
Below are some clips taken from a documentary by Will Norman about his father who had been diagnosed with MSA. In the first, Paul, a former teacher, talks about his condition to a group of past students with the help of an e-reader. In the second clip Paul talks with Will about how his condition makes him feel and also visits his other son in hospital.
If you’d like to watch the full documentary you can here: https://vimeo.com/201639510
Where will you be wearing your #MSAOrange?
Stand side by side with people affected by MSA and the work of the Trust by wearing #MSAOrange during March.
Tell your family, friends, work colleagues why you’re wearing orange and in turn ask them to talk to their families, friends and work colleagues.
You can wear the orange ribbon that we sent out with the latest MSA News (contact us on 0333 323 4591 if you need more) or be creative and show us where you’re wearing your orange. Ideas below:
orange t-shirt – You can purchase an MSA trust t-shirt from the shop
orange hair band
Please share your photos with us. If you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, this is a good opportunity to join. If you’d rather not, that’s fine just email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share them for you.
However you support us, whether you wear an orange ribbon or orange socks for the whole of March or if you share our media posts or just talk to more people during March about MSA – we’re extremely grateful. Thank you.