Nurse Joan shares advice for newly diagnosed women with Multiple Sclerosis.
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Joan Ohayon: Every person is going to respond differently and I really need to see to see how that person is responding and how they're dealing with it. Some people choose to really just kind of live in denial and go about their lives and they want to ignore the MS. And that is okay as long as they're doing what they need to in terms of treatment. But if they agreed to take their treatment and then otherwise they don’t want to talk to a support group, they just want to go about their lives, that's their coping mechanism and that's fine, and therefore I'm supporting whatever they choose to do and they know that I'm there for them if they need me. Other people are information seekers and trying to find out everything that they can and in that case, especially organizations like the MS Society are very good at being available to them. So in terms of general advice I think it probably changes depending on who I'm targeting and how my patient is responding if they're newly diagnosed. More than anything is that this is a disease, it's a chronic illness, but you live with it, you don't die from it. And I think that's a message, and that the spectrum of disease varies so greatly that not everybody s going to develop sever disability. Unfortunately, it's unpredictable. So at this point it's hard to really say what is going to happen. We look at for example imaging to try to use that to gauge us. Is there anyway that by looking at the MRI scans? We can then tell maybe the path of that person will take clinically and we're not quite there yet, but that is one of our hopes as we continue to study MRIs and study imaging. So eventually it would be so nice to see somebody who's really diagnosed and they have an idea of what phase of the disease they may go down, what road, and so we would be able to provide them for some guidance. But in general it's really just to live it like you win.