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Open Door: November 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 in appears in print:

Download the latest issue of Open Door as a PDF (2.4 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:

Making sense of MS

  • The right information at the right time for you

  • This month we launch Making Sense of MS, our new resource for people newly diagnosed with MS. This project has been two years in the making and we hope it will make a real difference to how people deal with diagnosis and find information that's right for them. Jane from our information team explains how we developed the project

  • Making Sense of MS: how it works

  • The information in Making Sense of MS is layered so that you can get the basics when you're first diagnosed, and then dig deeper to find out more information about what's most relevant to you at the time that's right for you.

  • "It's like the first branch for you to grab hold of and think: what now?"

  • Karen and Tracey both live in Sheffield, have MS and took part in the initial focus groups that helped us work out how to develop Making Sense of MS. Here they explain why they took part, what they make of it, and how they feel it will make a difference

  • "You're tailoring information for individuals. I think it's brilliant!"

  • Debbie Quinn and Gail Clayton are two of the MS specialist nurses we're working with to find the best way of getting information to people as soon as possible after their diagnosis. We asked them how Making Sense of MS will help them help more people living with MS

  • "It told me lots of things I wish I had known before"

  • Sarah was diagnosed with MS in August this year but received no information about what MS is and how she might deal with it. We sent her the Making Sense of MS booklet and core pack of information and asked her what she thought

MS and Cognition

  • Staying Smart

  • About half of all people with MS have problems at some time with aspects of memory, attention span or concentration. However, there is more and more evidence that cognitive rehabilitation – such as brain-training exercises – can make a real difference in helping you deal with these problems. Below Dawn Langdon, Professor of Neuropsychology at Royal Holloway, University of London, looks at promising research into MS and memory, while on the facing page, Jeffrey Gingold, who has MS and has written widely about cognitive issues, looks at what this means for people with MS

  • "Engage real hope now..."

  • Jeffrey Gingold on the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation

Parenting and MS

  • "My mummy's got wheels!"

  • In the last issue of Open Door we featured an article about caring for a newborn baby when you have MS. This issue we hear from the BBC journalist Elizabeth Quigley, about how she finds managing her MS while bringing up her four-year-old son, Matthew.

Get involved

  • The Great North Run: "The most positive experience imaginable"

  • Andy Porter from Chester has run the Great North Run six times in aid of the MS Trust, raising more than £7,600 to help people with MS. Here he reflects back on his fond memories of the world's greatest half marathon.

  • Reindeer Rally Run

  • Are you a teacher, Brown Owl, Scout Leader or parent? We are looking for schools or groups to get involved this winter in the MS Trust's first Reindeer Rally.

MS perspective

  • 15 minutes with TV journalist Stephanie Scawen

  • Last year the Al Jazeera TV journalist Stephanie Scawen presented MS and Me, a film about coming to terms with her MS and investigating the significance of the latest MS research. This year she was keynote speaker at the MS Trust Annual Conference, our event for MS healthcare professionals

Open Door archive