Sometimes the best medicine for a disease or condition comes in the form of support from others who know what you’re going through. Such is the case for many people with multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as their loved ones and caretakers, who tune into podcasts about their condition.
We’ve rounded up some of the best podcasts about MS this year. This includes podcast series about MS as well as single episodes on the topic. Our hope is to share valuable information and resources to support anyone affected by MS.
What Is MS?
MS is a chronic, incurable autoimmune disease that impacts the central nervous system. Research has led us to believe that MS causes the body's immune system to attack myelin, which is an insulating coating around nerve cells. When myelin is eroded, communication between nerve cells in the central nervous system is disrupted. This means that some parts of the body do not receive instructions from the central nervous system, which controls everything the body does.
Most commonly, MS affects people between the ages of 20 and 40. People can develop the disease at any age, however, and women typically have a higher risk than men for developing MS. There are several different forms of the disease. The cause of the disease is unknown, though some experts believe genetics, infections, nutrition, and environmental factors can all influence it.
Symptoms of MS include numbness or tingling in the limbs, muscle spasms, blurry vision, fatigue, loss of bladder and bowel control, difficulty with concentration, and balance problems.
There are about 400,000 cases of MS in the United States, and 2.5 million across the globe. For those tuning into these podcasts, they’re receiving information vital to help those living with the disease.
Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Podcast
This show includes a summary of recent data posted to the Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, and an interview with a thought leader in the field. Genzyme supports the podcast, which is produced by an independent, nonprofit, news organization.
UCSF MS Center Podcast
The University of California, San Francisco produces this podcast about living with MS. Liz Crabtree-Hartman runs the show, which discusses breakthroughs in MS treatment, including medications and other therapies. There is not a huge selection of episodes, but the ones offered are thorough.
Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis
Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis has a podcast library complete with recordings of Professor George Jelinek from other radio shows. He also records shows about issues pertaining to MS, as well as treatments. The website is based in Australia and New Zealand, and promotes the professor’s OMS Recovery Program, which was created more than 15 years ago.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Greater Delaware Valley
The Greater Delaware Valley chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers this podcast. It covers the latest news about multiple sclerosis research and services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, as well insurance issues. The show is useful for MS patients living anywhere.
In this episode of the newspaper’s Guardian Focus series, Jane Spink, director of policy and research at the MS Society, discusses her concerns for MS research within the British health system.
The Naked Scientists
This famous science podcast tackles MS in one of its episodes, talking about the latest treatments and research on the disease. The hosts are based at Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).
This Canadian podcast is created by the founder of Own Multiple Sclerosis. Each episode features interviews with others who have been diagnosed with MS or are somehow involved in the MS community in Edmonton, the Capital Region, and Northern Alberta.
Multiple Sclerosis Unplugged
FUMS: Giving Multiple Sclerosis the Finger
Kathy Reagan Young dubs herself a multiple sclerosis strategist, and shares her insights on living with MS. She features prominent figures, including doctors and lawyers, to talk about issues facing MS patients, and does so in a positive and sometimes humorous way. The podcast started in 2015 and already has a few episodes up.