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New guide to support people living with MSA over the festive season

For immediate release: Thursday 4 December 2014

The Multiple System Atrophy Trust (MSA Trust) has published today (4/12/14) a guide filled with useful tips to support people with multiple system atrophy (MSA) over the festive period.

MSA is a neurodegenerative disease leading to premature death. It causes brain cells to shrink resulting in problems with balance, movement and automatic functions like swallowing and speech. Some people with MSA say it feels like the disease traps them in their own bodies. There is no known cause or cure for MSA, which strikes at random, usually when people are in their late 50s. The latter stages of MSA can be extremely challenging and people often need around the clock care.

Head of Services, Andy Barrick, said:

“The holiday season is a time to relax, and to enjoy being with friends and family but for people living with a serious disease, such as MSA, it can be very stressful. GP surgeries and pharmacists may be closed, weather conditions can make travel difficult and winter pressures can cause delays at A&E.

“Our key message to people with MSA and their families and carers is get prepared for the holidays. Make sure you have enough medication, do your shopping well in advance and have a list of emergency numbers handy.

“If people with MSA, their families and carers want to talk to one of our Specialist MSA Nurses over the holiday period, apart from Christmas Day, Boxing and New Year’s Day, at least one of them will be available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, but calls may take a little longer to answer than usual.

“We hope this guide will help our members have a peaceful and restful Christmas and New Year.”

The MSA Trust is the UK’s main source of support for people with MSA, their families and carers. The Trust provides the services of specialist nurses, a support group network, an email and telephone advice service and it funds vital research to find the cause, and one day cure, for MSA. The work of the Trust is entirely funded by voluntary donations.

―   ENDS   ―

Contacts:

Franca Tranza: franca.tranza@msatrust.org.uk, 07718 42607, 020 7940 4666
Head of Communications

Andy Barrick: andy.barrick@msatrust.org.uk, 07714 256027, 020 7940 4666
Head of Services

Notes to editors:

The MSA Trust will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. A limited service will be provided outside these dates, contact 020 7940 4666.


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