Preface

We are in the age of exploding knowledge in multiple sclerosis (MS). No longer can people with MS be told there is nothing that can be done for them! The progress made during the last ten years has eclipsed that of the previous forty years. When the first edition of this book was published in 1986, disease management was only dreamed about, and the backbone of managing MS was symptom management. Now, only 16 years later, these treatments are equally important in attempting to gain control of this seemingly uncontrollable disease. As I have always emphasized, there is a person behind the MS who has needs that go beyond disease and symptom management, and these must also be addressed in any comprehensive management program.

This book remains a guide to managing the symptoms of MS, but also focuses on disease and personal management strategies. It is based on the management program developed at the oldest comprehensive MS Center in the United States, The Fairview MS Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. With all that has happened in health care delivery in the past decade, it is even more important for people with MS to take charge of their destiny as much as possible. This book provides ammunition in that fight by suggesting ways to manage the issues that accompany MS.

In this new edition, the disease management section has been expanded to reflect the growth of our knowledge in this area. Newer ways to manage complex and routine symptoms are explored. We have also reorganized the book to better reflect the three areas of management—management of the disease, management of its symptoms, and management of issues relating to lifestyle and general wellness.

It is our hope that all who use this book will be empowered to do as much as they can with what they have, and to live their lives as fully as possible.

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