Public gets firsthand look at living with MS

News source from CTV News

CTV Montreal

Published Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:53AM EDT

Last Updated Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:54AM EDT

A new virtual reality exhibition at Complexe Desjardins is bringing awareness and understanding to Multiple Sclerosis.

The disease attacks the sheath of nerve cells and causes fatigue, speech impairment, and blurred vision.

With an estimated one in 385 people living with the disease, Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.

“What happens in MS is that your own immune system will attack the coating of the nerves called myelin,” said Dr. Lisa Sibella, a neurologist.

“This will basically cause a short circuit, so a signal from the brain to the body and vice versa will not happen.”

Early on, the exhibit has already made an impact on visitors.

Vida Stibernik has a close connection to the disease.

Her brother-in-law was in his 50s when he passed away from Multiple Sclerosis.

“We didn’t pick up on it early,” she said. “It was later on when he was really stumbling.”

“I have seen patients with MS bring their whole families,” said Gaby Murphy of EMD Serono, the pharmaceutical company that funded the exhibit.

Other virtual reality displays are in the works.

“We’re just at the beginning right now,” he said. “This is just one of them. We have a stroke and the procedure for kids. We have epilepsy.”  

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