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Living Well with MS Inverness event set to bring Highland people affected by the condition expert guidance and help


By Alasdair Fraser

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Director of MS Society Scotland, Morna Simpkins, who will also be speaking at the Inverness event.
Director of MS Society Scotland, Morna Simpkins, who will also be speaking at the Inverness event.

Highland people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) are being encouraged to attend a community event in Inverness.

Living Well with MS Inverness will be jointly hosted by MS Society Scotland and the MS Society Inverness, Lochaber and Nairn Group in partnership with MS Society Scotland Council.

Entry at Merkinch Community Centre on Friday June 28 is free, with the event aimed at anyone living with MS as well as family members, friends and carers.

More than 17,000 people in Scotland live with MS which affects the brain and spinal cord and impacts how people move, think and feel.

Symptoms are different for everyone and are often invisible.

A talk by Dr Rebecca Sherrard Smith, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at The University of Edinburgh, will inform attendees about the role of metformin - a drug used to treat diabetes - in helping myelin production, crucial to countering MS.

Dr Sherrard Smith, whose research is funded through the MS Society’s Edinburgh Centre for MS Research, said: “I will be giving an overview of my research investigating whether Metformin can help human cells of the central nervous system produce more myelin by boosting their metabolism.”

The MS Society-funded Octopus trial is the first of its kind for MS, testing multiple drugs at once at sites throughout the UK.

The aim is to find treatments that will slow, stop or even reverse disability progression in progressive MS.

Also speaking at Living Well with MS Inverness – the first of three such events in Scotland in 2024 – will be Dr Emma Burton, senior principal clinical psychologist in neuropsychology at NHS Highland.

Before a complimentary lunch, Dr Burton will lead a Mindfulness Moments session.

Members of the MS community will be able to listen to talks and take part in taster sessions. (This was a workshop on Nutritional Lifestyle and Physical Activity hosted by Dom Thorpe of Disability Training at last year’s event in Dumfries).
Members of the MS community will be able to listen to talks and take part in taster sessions. (This was a workshop on Nutritional Lifestyle and Physical Activity hosted by Dom Thorpe of Disability Training at last year’s event in Dumfries).

After lunch, guests will be able to browse stalls and take part in taster sessions run by a variety of local and national organisations.

MS Society Scotland will have its own stall at the event, providing information, leaflets and resources relating to the work the charity does.

Social Security Scotland representatives will be on hand to offer advice on claiming benefits and discuss the new Adult Disability Payment (ADP).

Others with stalls include The Oxygen Works, a Highland-based centre providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy to people living with neurological conditions and Creativity in Care, a community interest company that builds connections using its socially engaged arts kits and programmes.

MySelf-Management will be promoting their vision of health self-management for people living with long-term conditions like MS.

Inverness-based City Mobility, who supply powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters throughout the Highlands and north-east Scotland, will also attend.

In the afternoon, Dr Burton will give a talk on cognitive rehabilitation for MS.

Chairwoman of the MS Society’s Scotland Council, Laura Ingram, spoke at last year’s event, highlighting an achievement by the MS Society Shetland Group.
Chairwoman of the MS Society’s Scotland Council, Laura Ingram, spoke at last year’s event, highlighting an achievement by the MS Society Shetland Group.

Anita Duffy, group coordinator for the MS Society Inverness, Lochaber and Nairn Group, said: “I'm so glad Inverness has been chosen to host the first face-to-face Living Well with MS event of 2024.

“I really hope everyone who comes to the event gets something from it - I know I will.

“It will be good to see everyone again too. Since the pandemic, we’ve lost touch with a few folk.”

Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland, said: “We’re really looking forward to co-hosting Living Well with MS Inverness, the first of three local Living Well events taking place in Scotland this year.

“Across the nation, we have wonderful local groups bringing their communities together, reducing isolation and offering support through events, activities, exercise classes and more.”


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