Edmonton-based multiple sclerosis neurologist Dr. Ken Makus and Calgary-based MS researcher Dr. Wee Yong will headline a list of presenters at the MS Society of Canada’s Lloydminster symposium on Saturday, March 28.
The two prominent MS doctors will speak, about aggressively treating MS and the recent findings in myelin repair that could impact future treatments and help create an eventual cure, respectively.
The disease has long been one of the more common around the world, but is especially prevalent in Canada. It affects more than 2.3 million people globally, and around 100,000 of those cases are Canadian.
“Canada actually has the highest rate of MS in the entire world,” said Johanna Green, the MS Society’s Lakeland regional director. “So by virtue of that, it really makes MS a Canadian disease. Given that prevalence, all of us as Canadians have a stake in the fight against it because tomorrow, you or I or someone we know could be diagnosed.”
Despite the staggering numbers, “We also have the best team of MS researchers in the entire world,” said Green. She added that the number of MS cases in the country has caused Canada to emerge as the world leader in the fight against the disease. “So there is a very real possibility of us having a made-in-Canada solution in terms of a cure and improved treatments for MS through the great work being done here in Canada,” she said.
Green says that current studies are analyzing the role that Vitamin D deficiencies could play in the development of MS. Furthermore, the results of an ongoing stem cell clinical trial could lead to improved treatments and an eventual method to repair nerves.
Dr. Makus and Dr. Yong will be joined at the March 28 symposium by speakers from a variety of MS-related backgrounds, including speech pathologists and professionals from the Prairie North Health Region and the Primary Health Network.
Tickets to the event, which takes place at he Days Hotel & Suites, are available for $20 per person and includes lunch. The symposium marks one of the MS Society’s last major events before the annual Jayman Built MS Walk on Saturday, May 3.
Green says that with less than six weeks remaining before the Walk, the MS Society has yet to hit the halfway point of its fundraising goal and is calling on the public to step up. The MS Society encourages anybody interested in participating in the MS Walk or acquiring more information about it to visit www.mswalks.ca or call 780-871-0513.