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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Living Well With MS Inverness

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Community event for people affected by multiple sclerosis coming to the Highlands

People living in the Highlands whose lives are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) are invited to a community event in Inverness.

‘Living Well with MS Inverness’ is being jointly hosted by MS Society Scotland and the MS Society Inverness, Lochaber and Nairn Group in partnership with MS Society Scotland Council.

Entry is free and the event is for anyone living with MS as well as their family members, friends and carers.

On the day – Friday 28 June – attendees will have the opportunity to hear ‘The role of metformin in helping myelin production’, a talk by Dr Rebecca Sherrard Smith, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at The University of Edinburgh.

Dr Sherrard Smith, whose research is funded through the MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research at the same university, said:

“I will be giving an overview of my research that is investigating whether Metformin (a drug used to treat diabetes), which is currently being investigated in the Octopus trial, can help human cells of the central nervous system produce more myelin by boosting their metabolism.”

MS Society-funded Octopus is the first ever multi-arm, multi-stage trial for MS.

It’s testing multiple drugs at once, at sites throughout the UK, to find treatments that will slow, stop or even reverse disability progression in progressive MS.

Also speaking at Living Well with MS Inverness – which is being held at Merkinch Community Centre and is the first of three such events in Scotland in 2024 – will be Dr Emma Burton, Senior Principal Clinical Psychologist in Neuropsychology at NHS Highland.

Before lunch, Dr Burton will lead a ‘Mindfulness Moments’ session.

Following a complimentary lunch, guests will be able to browse stalls and take part in taster sessions run by a variety of local and national organisations.

MS Society Scotland will have its own stall at the event, providing information, leaflets and resources relating to the work the charity does.

Social Security Scotland representatives will be on hand to offer advice on claiming benefits and discuss the new Adult Disability Payment (ADP).

The Oxygen Works, a Highland-based centre providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy to people living with neurological conditions, will also have a stall on the day.

They will be providing information about the services they offer to people with MS, which also include physiotherapy, an accessible gym, and complementary therapies such as cupping and acupuncture.

Another stall will be run by Creativity in Care, a community interest company that aims to build connections using its socially engaged arts kits and programmes.

MySelf-Management will also be present, promoting their vision of health self-management for people living with long-term conditions like MS.

Guests will be able to learn more about their self-management toolkits and wellbeing plans, aiming to help people feel more in control of their MS and thus live a fuller life.

Inverness-based City Mobility will also attend the event.

They supply powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters to people throughout the Highlands and Islands, and the North East of Scotland, both privately and through the Motability Scheme.

In the afternoon, Dr Burton will also give a talk on ‘Cognitive rehabilitation for MS’.

The talk will detail some strategies to support memory, planning and organising, and processing speed.

Anita Duffy, Group Coordinator for the MS Society Inverness, Lochaber and Nairn Group, said:

“I’m so glad Inverness has been chosen to host the first face-to-face Living Well with MS event of 2024.

“It’s been great working with MS Society Scotland’s Community Development Officers while organising the event.

“We shared areas our community is interested in, such as finding out about the latest MS research.

“And we introduced them to some of the local organisations we work alongside.

“I really hope everyone who comes to the event gets something from it; I know I will.

“It’ll be good to see everyone again too.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve lost touch with a few folk.

“It’ll be good to reconnect.”

Morna Simpkins, Director of MS Society Scotland, said:

“We’re really looking forward to co-hosting Living Well with MS Inverness, the first of three local Living Well events taking place in Scotland this year.

“More than 17,000 people in Scotland live with MS.

“It affects the brain and spinal cord and impacts how people move, think and feel.

“Symptoms are different for everyone and are often invisible.

“Across the nation – and indeed throughout the whole of the UK – we have wonderful local groups bringing their communities together, reducing isolation, and offering support through events, activities, exercise classes and more.

“It’s wonderful to be able to join together with these local groups – in this case the one for Inverness, Lochaber and Nairn – to reconnect with people we already know and reach out to people who may not have engaged with us or their local group yet.

“This event is for everyone affected by MS.

“So whether you’ve got a diagnosis yourself, have a loved one with MS, or you care for someone with the condition, we would encourage you to come along.

“You’ll get the chance to meet people who’ve had similar experiences to you, discover organisations that could offer you and your loved ones life-changing support, and hear about research that could change the future for everyone living with MS.”

Living Well with MS Inverness takes place at Merkinch Community Centre, Coronation Park, Inverness, IV3 8AD, on Friday 28 June.

Registration opens at 10am for a 10.30am start, and the event runs until 3pm.

This is a free event but places must be booked, you can do so by clicking here

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