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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Winter 2022

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  • Shapland
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Farewell Sue Shapland | Pain and pain management series: Part 5 | MSWA's Employment Support Service | Tips for staying motivated over winter

RESEARCH RESEARCH ROUND

RESEARCH RESEARCH ROUND UP SUE SHAPLAND RN, BN, MSCN GENERAL MANAGER STRATEGIC SUPPORTS AND RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS FROM MS AUSTRALIA Read more at msaustralia.org.au Predictors of employment after the first episode of demyelination MS predominantly affects working age adults and has effects on many facets of life including family, work and social interactions. PwMS face significant employment-related challenges and understanding and preparing for these may improve later employment outcomes. This study was led by Professor Bruce Taylor and his research team at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in Tasmania, as well as the AusLong group, which continued the work of the MS Australia-supported AusImmune study. Researchers set out to examine factors affecting the longterm pathways of employment outcomes. Many employment studies are short term, but this study followed participants for 11 years after their first relapse to help us understand why these employment challenges occur in people with MS over time. / Researchers followed 207 people for 11 years after their very first episode of central nervous system demyelination (FCD) / From the data collected, researchers identified four distinct pathways of employment that are likely to occur after the first relapse / Understanding the likely pathways for people with MS allows better management of adverse risk factors and potentially better employment outcomes What did the researchers find out about this group? Of the 207 participants, 78% progressed to clinically definite MS at the 5-year mark and 83% by the 10-year mark. At 10 years after the FCD, 74% of participants were employed and 17% were receiving a pension, compared to 87% and 1% at baseline. Additionally, average work hours had decreased from 31.6 hours to 21.2 hours per week. Statistical modelling of the data identified four employment pathways: / Stable full-time (26.9%) / Stable part-time (46.7%) / Early deteriorated with early drop off in employment after FCD (15.3%) / Late deteriorated with gradual decline after 5 years (11.1%) 8

HERE WE PROVIDE SUMMARIES OF RESEARCH SOURCED FROM WEBSITES IN AUSTRALIA AND AROUND THE WORLD; WE HOPE IT’S OF INTEREST TO YOU. READ MORE AT MSWA.ORG.AU/RESEARCHUPDATE What does this all mean for people with MS? This research highlights four different pathways of employment status during the immediate decade following the first demyelinating event. For people experiencing other co-morbidities, a higher disability level in the first 5 years and a higher number of relapses, there are indicators that this may contribute to worse employment and work-hour outcomes further down the track. This highlights the immense value of modern disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) to reduce relapses and thereby potentially having a positive effect on work outcomes. Recognising and alleviating the adverse risk factors for poor employment outcomes may provide a mechanism for maintaining people with MS in the workforce and harnessing all the benefits that this brings. That is, reducing relapses, keeping co-morbidities under tight management and intervening early with DMTs. In essence, maintaining brain health in MS. Additionally, guides for employers and employees are now available on the MS Australia website. FROM MS TRUST UK Read more at mstrust.org.uk Investigating the potential diseasemodifying and neuroprotective efficacy of exercise therapy early in the disease course of multiple sclerosis: The Early Multiple Sclerosis Exercise Study (EMSES); Mult Scler. 2022 Mar 16 This study investigated the effect of early exercise on relapse rate, global brain atrophy and secondary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcomes. The randomized controlled trial (n = 84, disease duration