Further Investment in Multiple Sclerosis Research Important

Orkney Constituency MSP, Liam McArthur, LibDem, has commented on the importance of further investment in Multiple Sclerosis research.    His comments come as the Scottish MS Register continues to record that Orkney has the highest incidence rate of MS across all health board areas in Scotland.

Liam McArthur said:

“MS is a devastating condition. Its effects can vary quite dramatically between individuals, but it often causes serious pain and invariably impacts not just the lives of those affected but also those around them.

“This latest report confirms that Orkney continues to have one of the highest rates of MS worldwide. It also underscores the importance of further investment in research.    

“Scotland is currently home to world class research that is looking into more ways that people can manage the symptoms of MS. Hopefully, this will eventually result in a cure being found. Meantime, new drug treatments are being approved that can make a real difference to the lives of those with MS.

“The past year has seen increased rates of reported MS diagnosis. It is encouraging, however, that the proportion of newly diagnosed patients receiving contact with a MS specialist nurse within 10 working days of diagnosis has also increased.

“Positive too, is confirmation in this report that a large majority of people with MS were double vaccinated early this year. Hopefully the current figures are as close to 100% as possible.

“Locally, we are fortunate in having a very active support network. The MS Society Orkney in particular does incredible work to support those affected by MS and is always happy to hear from those who may need help. I would certainly encourage anyone with any questions to contact them and find out more about the services and support available.”

Click on this link for: MS in Orkney Facebook Information Page

Main Points From The Scottish MS Register published 13 July 2021

  • In 2020, 450 new patients with a confirmed diagnosis of MS were added to the MS Register. This brings the total number of patients newly diagnosed and reported over the 11 year period to 5270.
  • The annual incidence shows twice as many females than males were diagnosed with MS.
  • In line with previous findings, the average annual incidence of MS per population in the six most northern NHS Boards was greater than the average for the eight southern NHS boards.
  • The proportion of newly diagnosed patients receiving contact with a MS specialist nurse within 10 working days of diagnosis, increased from 83.5% in 2019 to 87.1% in 2020.
  • Once a referral was received by the MS specialist nurse, 99.3% of patients were contacted within 10 working days, an improvement from 99.1% last year.
  • COVID-19 test and vaccination data were collated from March 2020 – March 2021. There were 5196 tests resulting in 210 positive results.
  • As at 31 March 2021, 90% of people with MS reported in the Scottish MS Register had received their first covid-19 vaccine and 59% had also received their second.

Click on this link to access the Scottish Multiple Sclerosis Register

Map based on Longitude (generated) and Latitude (generated). Colour shows details about GroupColour. Details are shown for Health Board. Data as at 12th June 2021

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