Multiple Sclerosis cases on the rise in Kuwait

Dr. Raed Alroughani, Consultant Neurologist and Director of MS Clinic at Al Amiri Hospital said, "Multiple Sclerosis is a rising concern in the Kuwait. The diagnostic process has improved despite the complexity and variability of symptoms which may vary from one person to the other. It can be a challenging condition to live with, but new treatments have considerably improved the quality of life of people with the condition." His remarks were highlighted at a medical conference that was organized by Bayer recently in the United Arab Emirates.

The event focused on the prevalence and management of multiple sclerosis in the region. The event included prominent medical experts from Kuwait, and the region as well as senior representatives from Bayer. According to recent studies, in Kuwait, the disease has a prevalence rate of 85.05 for every 100,000 persons. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, limb movement, sensation or balance. It is caused when an individual's own immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue.

When this occurs, myelin - the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system (CNS) - is destroyed. Ultimately, this damage interferes with nerve communication between neurons in the CNS. During the event, medical experts highlighted that recent studies suggest a moderate-to-high prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the region nearby (31-55 MS per 100,000 individuals), with more prevalence increasing in recent years. Multiple sclerosis' signs and symptoms may differ considerably from person to person and over the course of the disease depending on the location of affected nerve fibers.

Amongst these symptoms are numbness in limbs, partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes, tingling or pain in body parts, fatigue, dizziness, double vision, slurred speech, and loss of bladder control. "There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, however, treatment focuses on relieving the condition's symptoms. They work to alter the course of the disease by halting the disease activity through controlling the relapse, disability progression and MRI changes. Successful management of the disease requires early intervention.

Auto injectors

That is why efforts need to be concentrated on driving stronger awareness initiatives in Kuwait in addition to patient education programs that ultimately aim at enhancing patients' adherence to treatment and enhancing their quality of life," added Dr. Raed Alroughani. Phil Smits, Bayer Middle East's Vice President also said, "Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is a critical life event, however with the new treatments in hand, patients can alleviate the conditions that arise from the disease. In the field of multiple sclerosis, Bayer has grown to develop a strong commitment to patients by continuously investing to support their varied needs.

We pride ourselves with more than 29 years of history in delivering data and patient insights for effective treatment. Moreover, the company has developed a 360° support system for multiple sclerosis patients which focuses on driving patient education and training needs. We have also developed auto injectors to make the drug injection experience comfortable and more importantly, safe for patients." As part of its patient commitment, Bayer's BETACONNECT auto injector, designed to deliver tailored, actionable information based on patient data to provide a more personalized approach to patient support, is the first component of an innovative dose delivery system for multiple sclerosis treatment.

Patients may choose to use BETACONNECT independently or as part of a complete software based system designed to track injection history and share important treatment information with healthcare providers. "At Bayer, we are pleased to continue facilitating leading discussions that focus on best practices in multiple sclerosis care and management. We believe that the only way this disease can be brought under control is through the joint efforts and close collaboration of all entities across the healthcare spectrum. We are guided by a clear determination to provide sustainable solutions that place patients at the core," added Phil Smits.