InforMS: Winter 2018

InforMSWinter2018 coverCelebrating 40 Years

of MS Care, Support, Education and Research.

 The Rocky Mountain MS Center was founded on September 28, 1978 — and we’ve spent most of 2018 celebrating our 40th anniversary. In this issue of InforMS, we’re happy to bring you a look back at those 40 years. Ahead, you’ll find a timeline of key milestones and events in our organization’s history. We’ll also take a look at how MS has changed over the years, with a brief view of the history of DMTs and MRIs — two continually advancing areas that have fundamentally changed how we treat MS today. Many of the important programs the MS Center has developed over the years have grown to become critical components of our comprehensive model of patient care, and we’ll also take a look at what some of those programs have meant to our community over the years.

Take a look at the timeline of the RMMSC's major milestones over 40 years. Each image below will pop-up to a full-sized version.

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MRIs: The Diagnostic Tool that Changed MS

By Pete Broderick | When looking back at 40 years of MS history, it’s hard to overstate the importance of one technological advancement in particular — the MRI.

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, was the first technology to give neurologists a reliable and deep look at what was happening in their patients’ brains. First used in the late 1970s, and quickly gaining widespread use through the 1980s, the MRI was a game-changer in both the diagnosis and treatment of MS.

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Disease Modifying Therapies: Altering the MS Course

By Pete Broderick | Since the mid-1990s, disease modifying therapies (DMTs) have been our first line interventions in the fight against MS. But what exactly do we mean by “DMT,” and how are they different from other drugs?

Put simply, DMTs are pharmaceutical treatments that alter the natural history of the disease itself. Before the first DMTs, doctors didn’t have a way to fight MS directly, so pharmaceutical interventions were limited to treating symptoms. That’s the distinction between DMTs and other drugs: when you’re taking a DMT, you’re fighting MS rather than just managing symptoms.

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KADEP: Improving Lives and Building Community for Decades

By Kerri Cechovic | In January of 1992, the King Adult Day Enrichment Program (KADEP) opened its doors to just six clients.Today, the KADEP team works with an average of 65 clients each day to provide a safe and structured environment where clients can thrive. KADEP is a life-affirming day program for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), brain injury and other acquired neurological conditions.

“Together we have sustained our mission to improve the quality of life for each person in our community,” says Michelle King, KADEP Senior Director, “Our client family is a diverse group of individuals with many different diagnoses, but together we are one large family. We strive to engage each individual through whole-person centered approaches that incorporate important aspects of wellness for our clients, including social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive.”

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Pathways to Wellness: Hydrotherapy and Ai Chi

By Kerri Cechovic | In 1992, the RMMSC began offering hydrotherapy classes for people living with MS and other neurological conditions. Michele Harrison, Rocky Mountain MS Center Hydrotherapy Coordinator and Licensed Physical Therapist, has provided both Hydrotherapy and Ai Chi classes to hundreds of people for the past 17 years.

Hydrotherapy is exercise in the water and includes stretching, balance activities, endurance work, and strength work for all parts of the body. Ai Chi is a form of hydrotherapy and involves a pattern of slow, gentle sweeping motions. It’s focused on weight shifting, balancing, coordination, stability, and posture.

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Empowering Patients and Families through Education: The RMMSC’s Robust Education Programming

An informed patient is an empowered patient. That belief is a key component of the Rocky Mountain MS Center’s mission, and informs the scope and core elements of our educational programming through growth over 40 years.

We strive to provide education and support for people no matter where they are in their experience living with MS. Our education programs provide patients and their families with materials and resources to help them make informed decisions about their care.

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