Because multiple sclerosis is such a diverse condition, and no two people experience exactly the same symptoms, it can sometimes be tricky to explain to friends, families or colleagues just what it is, and why you might be having certain problems. To help make this a bit easier we’ve just published a new edition of our popular book, MS Explained, which you can order free or read online as a PDF
Like all our publications, MS Explained is provided free to those who need it, thanks to the generous support of donors like you. It costs us about £5 to research, write, produce and post a single book to someone with MS.
To mark the publication of the new edition we spoke to one of the book’s authors, Alison from our Information Team.
What does MS Explained cover?
It gives a basic introduction to the central nervous system, the immune system and what MS can do to the body. It also looks at the possible causes of MS and highlights research and areas where advances might be made in the future.
How popular is MS Explained?
It’s our third most popular book. Since 2004 we have sent out over 40,000 copies.
How long have you been working on this update?
I’ve been working on this update for the last eight months. The first part of the process is checking the literature to see what has dated in the old edition. Then a first draft is put together with the updated information. This goes out to review to three groups of people:
- other members of the MS Trust Information Team
- people with MS
- health professionals who work with people with MS
Once we’ve got their comments we consider them, and decide whether to incorporate them into a second draft, which is then internally reviewed. Finally a third draft is completed, which is then sent to our designer for layout and printing.
What are the major changes for the new edition?
The most noticeable changes are to the ‘Future research’ section which has been updated and expanded. Also, as a result of feedback, we’ve changed the order of the contents. We also wanted to build on the glossary and explain more of the terms used in the book that people living with MS may hear regularly.
What’s the lifespan of this edition?
This edition will be reviewed in three years time. The MS Trust is a certified holder of the Information Standard. This means we’ve undergone an assessment to show that the information we produce is clear, accurate, impartial, evidence-based and up to date. To maintain our certification we have to review our publications at least every three years.