MS News Real or Fake

 Published News About MS Can Be Misleading

I have subscribed to several different MS related new sources on social media to assist me with keeping up with the latest news being published about Multiple Sclerosis. Of course others also share articles they run across as well so I am constantly reading. Unfortunately, I have learned not to get too excited about “late breaking news” until having the opportunity to research it more thoroughly.  It seems like researchers are constantly coming up with a “possible” new drug or treatment they think will either help diagnose or treat MS.

Our local paper even printed out that on Dr. Oz show that someone shared that a breath test was coming to help diagnose our disease. My first thought was if this is truly real, why haven’t some of the more well-known news agencies or those associated with the MS Foundation put this in print? Then this week I read one where a possible vaccine could responsible for helping to ward off progression of MS when used extremely early of detection of just a few lesions. This would be the TB vaccine that is being talked about. Evidently, in the small study of individuals, half of the individuals with less than 2-3 lesions on the brain took the vaccine (along with Betaseron) while the other half took a placebo. The ones who took the real medication didn’t produce any further lesions while the placebo users did. This sounds great but it brings up questions I would love to answers to.

First, how did they determine it was actually the vaccine and not the Betaseron that helped? They were both given together so did the article just leave out that both sets of people took Betaseron with only ½ getting the TB vaccine? Next question would be how would people know to get tested early for MS if lesions are what actually bring about the symptoms? It already seems like by the time doctors think about checking us for this disease, we have already had a long period of time where the initial vague symptoms finally make enough sense to physicians to do a MRI. By then, it has progressed to the point of having several lesions already present; therefore making the vaccine useless. We are told that MS doesn’t run in families, so how does a person know if he/she will actually get it? It took years of miss-diagnosis’ before  I was diagnosed.

There are so many other examples that mirror this same issue. Either the news is so far off in the future to get my hopes up or it is so way out there like the breath test that it is unbelievable. So what do we do? When reading articles, first look to see who is publishing it to see if they are a creditable source. Next, check on other sites or sources that you trust to see if they have published anything on that subject. You can always contact the MS Foundation to see if what you are researching has been brought to their attention and if it is reliable information; I guarantee they will be updated on “true” data. Of course speak with your physician about any questions you may have. You might even print out the article to bring to your doctor to assist him in what you are speaking about.  He may also have avenues to help assist you in finding the truth.

Don’t get discouraged and I just want to applaud you on trying to stay on top of all this information. Sometimes, we can also offer our doctor new information. We all have to work together to help keep our disease under control. Before getting excited though, I urge you to make sure what you are reading is truly “real and true” news not just a possibility.

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.