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Home > MSAA Publications > Solutions for Wellness: A Guide to MSAA's Programs and Services - Second Edition > Finding Answers...
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Finding Answers...

about living with MS and managing the disease

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Various Covers of MSAA's PublicationsMSAA's website, www.mymsaa.org, is another excellent resource - not just for individuals with MS, but also for family, friends, and anyone interested in learning more about MS and the work MSAA performs. The "About Multiple Sclerosis" section features such topics as, "What is MS," "Types of MS," and "Treatments of MS." Visitors may also click on the "Newly Diagnosed" section, offering answers and support.

MSAA's publications provide a great deal of helpful and important information. These cover a range of subjects such as medical research and treatments, symptom management, complementary and alternative therapies, general information, and ways to help cope with the disease. MSAA publishes a national magazine, The Motivator, which includes informative and uplifting articles on vital issues, new research, treatments, and personal stories. All of MSAA's publications are available free of charge and may be viewed, downloaded, or ordered at www.mymsaa.org. Publications may also be requested by calling MSAA's toll-free number at (800) 532-7667.

Multiple Sclerosis Information (MSi) enables MSAA to serve more clients in more locations than ever before through enhanced web technology and updated electronic communications. The MSi library of on-demand educational videos and live webcasts brings experts on MS as well as information on its symptoms, treatments, and disease management right into the privacy and comfort of a person's home.

MSAA staff members recognize the importance of personalizing and building interactivity with the MS community. To help us achieve this goal, viewers are encouraged to submit individual questions electronically to our highly trained Helpline staff and to complete online evaluation surveys.

All of MSAA's programs and services are featured on www.mymsaa.org. Visitors may also find public education and awareness events through MSAA's Calendar of Events. Visitors may refer to a particular MSAA program or service and download an application. As always, any personal information supplied to our website is secure.

MSAA's Lending Library offers a collection of nearly 300 MS resources on diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, general health, and support, along with books that inspire through personal experiences and life stories. The Lending Library also includes a number of books in Spanish and is expanding its offerings of DVDs of MSi programs and MS-related topics. MSAA loans and mails the books and DVDs free of charge, along with instructions for returning them at no cost.

MSAA introduced the S.E.A.R.C.H. ™ program to assist the MS community with the complicated process of learning about different treatment choices. The first treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993. Since then, numerous effective disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS have become available, giving neurologists and patients a variety of treatment options for slowing disease activity.

Designed as a memory aid, the S.E.A.R.C.H. acronym represents the key areas that need to be discussed with one's healthcare team when "searching" for the most appropriate MS treatment. S.E.A.R.C.H. stands for Safety, Effectiveness, Affordability, Risks, Convenience, and Health outcomes (overall wellness and quality of life). MSAA has created a S.E.A.R.C.H. "toolkit" with helpful written materials to assist with the program. The tools include: a detailed article about the specifics of the S.E.A.R.C.H. program; a S.E.A.R.C.H. Patient Workbook; an MS Disease-Modifying Therapy Chart showing the currently approved treatments; an MS Resource Guide; and a laminated, wallet-sized S.E.A.R.C.H. reference card. These written materials may be downloaded at www.mymsaa.org/search and the reference card may be ordered online. Individuals without internet access may request this same information by calling MSAA at (800) 532-7667.

MSAA helps people find answers. One way is through assistance in acquiring magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which are used to help diagnose MS and to evaluate both disease progression and treatment efficacy. Given the nature of MS, with its characteristic flare-ups and remissions, MS can be very difficult to diagnose.

Photo of a doctor looking at MRI Scans
The MRI Diagnostic Fund helps
individuals obtain an initial
diagnostic MRI, and the MSAA
MRI Institute provides advocacy
and assistance for follow-up MRI
exams.
Photo of a person performing a MRI Scantitle=

Additionally, MS activity is often sub-clinical, which means that the illness may continue to progress without any outward signs or increased symptoms. An MRI exam can often give physicians the answers they need to help diagnose MS and to get an "inside view" of disease activity.

The MRI Diagnostic Fund helps individuals obtain an initial diagnostic MRI by working with imaging centers and physicians' offices. For individuals with no insurance or who have been denied insurance coverage, MSAA can also assist with payment for a diagnostic MRI. To qualify for financial assistance, certain income limits apply.

The MSAA MRI Institute provides insurance advocacy and financial assistance to those in need of a follow-up MRI scan to examine disease activity and/or treatment effectiveness. Similar to the MRI Diagnostic Fund, certain income limits apply for financial assistance. Individuals with any income are eligible for advocacy to assist in gaining approval for an MRI through their own insurance companies.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 15:06