Multiple sclerosis (MS)

The condition

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults.
  • Women are almost twice as likely as men to develop MS.
  • Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 to 40.
  • For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern. For everyone, it makes life unpredictable.

Incidence and prevalence

  • Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS (MS Society, ‘Strength in Numbers’ 2009).
  • The prevalence of MS in Yorkshire & the Humber region is approximately 200 per 100,000 (MS Society 2009).
  •  This suggests that there are currently 10,400 people living with MS in the region.

The impact on health and social care services

Over the course of their condition, people with MS are likely to require input from a large number of health and social care professionals including:

  • Neurology consultants
  • Specialist nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Continence advisory and management services
  • Dieticians
  • Pain management services
  • Chiropody and podiatry
  • Ophthalmology services
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Palliative care services
  • Paid carers

People affected by MS may need a range of equipment to maintain their independence, such as specialised wheelchairs and other mobility aids, bathing equipment, environmental controls, communication aids and others.