The Unique Challenges Facing Individuals with MS
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Kessler Foundation’s "Living to the Fullest with MS" event to talk with Dr. John DeLuca, Senior Vice President of Research & Training, Kessler Foundation, and Research Professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School about the challenges facing individuals with MS.
"We're speaking with Doctor John DeLuca, with Kessler Foundation. Also research professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Doctor, we're having a forum tonight here with the Kessler Foundation on MS research. What is MS exactly? MS is a neurologic disease that affects the brain. It actually is the disease that really affects middle aged and young adults. It's the leading disease that affects them in their everyday lives. It affects their financial status, their family status, their work status. And what we do here at the foundation is very unique. We look at not just the sensory motor problems, we look at the hidden disabilities that you see in persons with MS. It's very unique what we do here. Hidden disabilities. Be more specific. Yeah the hidden disabilities. People know when you have motor problems. Problems if you can't see. Sensory problems. But if you have a problem with your memory or your ability to learn or pay attention or with fatigue, you really can't see those that well. And so what we do, and patients very much experience these, and they can really affect their everyday lives. We work with those hidden disabilities rather than what people can see like motor and sensory problems. Help us on this Doctor. We use the term "research" and we often assume that people know exactly what is meant by that. Describe that research. What does it look like? The research that we do? Well, we look at these cognitive problems. It's really unique what we do. We don't just assess the cognitive problems. We do something about it. That is rehabilitation. That's a big difference, because a lot of what happens in multiple sclerosis is that we find that people have problems. But here at the Kessler Foundation, we try to do something about those problems. So, we look at interventions that can improve these hidden disabilities, cognitive problems and fatigue problems. Break down some of those interventions. Well, for example, for cognition, for memory, one of the biggest complaints patients have is that, "I can't remember things anymore," so what we do is that we take specific interventions that we know can improve learning and memory and can we teach patients to use it in their everyday life? And what we find is that we can actually do that. It improves their cognitive function, it improves their everyday life, and it actually does so at the level of the brain. We can show differences in the brain when they're using these techniques. John, let me ask you this. Do we know why MS actually affects memory? Well, what we do know is that..."