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Empowering the MS Community: Coimbatore Get-Together Recap

By May 12, 2024June 9th, 2024Chennai

On the morning of Sunday, 12th May 2024, Mr. D. Shiva Kumar, Mrs. Chitra Ramachandran, committee members, and Mrs. Ann Gonsalvez, Hon. Secretary of the Chennai Chapter, hosted a heartfelt get-together with 20 MS persons at J.K Hotels, Coimbatore. This gathering aimed to foster community and provide valuable insights into the latest advancements in MS treatment.

The highlight of the event was an enlightening address by Dr. T.C.R. Ramakrishnan, MD (Pediatrics), DM (Neurology), Consultant Neurologist, and HOD Neurology at K.G. Hospitals, Coimbatore. Dr. Ramakrishnan began his speech by reflecting on the evolution of MS treatments over the past two decades. He recalled a time when there were no medications available for MS. Gradually, Interferons became the dominant treatment, followed by Azathioprine, which, although initially off-label, proved effective for MS and eventually gained acceptance in Western countries.

Dr. Ramakrishnan also discussed Rituximab, noting its initial hesitancy but now widespread acceptance as a first-line treatment for MS. He introduced the new drug Ocrelizumab, acknowledging its high cost but expressing hope for future price reductions. He emphasized the importance of Electromyography (ESG) for muscle strengthening and advised that long-term users of Interferons, with medical consultation, could potentially discontinue use but should remain vigilant for any changes.

Physiotherapy was strongly recommended to strengthen muscles, particularly for those experiencing issues like weak spine muscles. Dr. Ramakrishnan highlighted the efficacy of Carbamazepine for symptom management and expressed gratitude for the advances in MS treatments today, including oral medications like dimethyl fumarate and fingolimod.

The session was interactive, with Dr. Ramakrishnan answering numerous questions from attendees, providing clarity and reassurance about their treatment options. The gathering concluded with a traditional South Indian meal served on a plantain leaf, enhancing the sense of community and shared experience.

This get-together was more than just an informational session; it was a celebration of resilience and solidarity among those living with MS. The insights shared by Dr. Ramakrishnan and the support from the Chennai Chapter have undoubtedly empowered the MS community in Coimbatore, fostering hope and strength for the journey ahead.

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