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Open Door: May 2014

A free, quarterly newsletter for people with multiple sclerosis, their family and friends and supporters of the MS Trust.

Every issue we report on our work, aiming to make life better for everyone affected by MS, and suggest ways you could get involved.

We also round-up the most relevant MS news and research projects; share the real-life stories of people living with MS; and introduce advice from healthcare professionals that could make a practical difference to you today.

Read the latest issue of Open Door exactly as it appears in print:

Download the latest issue of Open Door as a PDF (3.8 MB)

Or read the original articles as they appeared on our website:


Latest news from the MS Trust including reports on:

Research update

A round up of the latest MS research:

  • Can high dose simvastatin help people with secondary progressive MS?

  • Currently there are no disease modifying treatments available for people with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). This study looked at the effect of high dose of simvastatin in people with SPMS. Simvastatin is already licensed for lowering "bad" cholesterol in the blood and so is used to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • What are the risks of using complementary and alternative medicines?

  • Many people with MS use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments such as acupuncture, Chinese medicine and homoeopathy in the management of their disease. However they're often also using conventional drug treatments (CDTs). This study looked at whether people with MS understood the risks that their CAM might interact and interfere with their CDT.

  • How common is sexual dysfunction in MS?

  • Sexual activity is an important part of life for many people and contributes to their quality of life, the quality of their relationships and to their self-esteem. We know that MS can affect aspects of sexual function in both men and women. These studies looked at how common these issues are.

MS and Rehab

  • Rehab in MS: what could it mean for you?

  • This June the MS Trust is bringing Europe's largest conference on MS rehabilitation to the UK for the first time. We hope this will be a big step towards better rehab services for everyone affected by MS. But what exactly is MS rehab? Over the next few pages we speak to health professionals and people with MS to find out how it could work for you.

  • Practical answers to everyday problems

  • Rehab professionals can help you work out ways of dealing with some of the common problems MS can cause and support you to draw up practical goals for living the way you want to. On these pages some of the UK's leading experts talk about how MS rehab has changed over the years and how it can help you today.

  • Who can help?

  • MS rehab services vary depending on where you live. If you have an MS nurse, they are often the best people to ask what's available locally. If you have an MS therapy centre near you they might also be able to help you find a physiotherapist or other rehab professionals. You might need a referral from your GP to access some of these services.

  • How a physio could help you

  • The MS Therapy Centre in Norwich, like many therapy centres around the UK, offers a range of rehab services that could support you to continue living a full, active life. Wendy Hendrie works at the centre as an MS Specialist Physiotherapist. Here she explains exactly what practical support she can offer and the difference it can make.

  • How rehab helped me...

Focus on...

  • MS and pregnancy

  • MS is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, when many people may be thinking of having a family. In this article Janice from the MS Trust information team explains what you might have to think about if you have MS and you're considering having a baby.

Practical tips

  • Tips for managing MS bladder problems

  • Around 75 per cent of people with MS experience bladder problems and these can have a big impact on your everyday life. However it is often possible to treat these and simple management strategies can make a real difference.

Get involved

MS perspective

  • Magnetic imagery

  • Rod McLaren is a writer and artist who was diagnosed with MS last year. Ahead of this year's MS Trust Secret Art Show, Rod considers the challenges of depicting an 'invisible disease'.

Open Door archive