Puerto Rico is currently one of the countries with the highest prevalence of the disease.
Dr. Angel Chinaa, neurologist and creator of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Photo: Archive of the Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
multiple sclerosis or MS, a disease more frequently diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, is an autoimmune pathology affecting the brain and spinal cord—the central nervous system—and with a higher prevalence in women than in men.
Puerto Rico is currently recognized as one of the countries with a high prevalence of the disease, due to the fact that a registry was created by law that guarantees that all those cases are counted, Allows for greater control, guarantees safety to all patients, but incidence figures are rising.
“We started with 30 cases, but at the latest numbers, there are 90 cases out of every 100,000 people, and when women get up to age between 35 and 44, we see that they are 200 out of every 100,000 residents. cases are reached,” he says in Dr. Angel China, neurologist and its creator. foundation of multiple sclerosis“The number of new cases, 2 to 3 new cases weekly, averages 8 to 10 cases per month”, in an exclusive interview with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
One of the errors patients initially make after diagnosis is searching for information on the Internet, assuming that the disease has standardized symptoms, but this is not the case, because each patient has completely different symptoms related to that stage. Presents in which they are diagnostics..
Currently, several studies focused on this pathology are being developed in Puerto Rico, and are supported by Puerto Ricans. foundation of multiple sclerosis of Puerto Rico, which builds and maintains support spaces for all patients who struggle with the condition within the island.
It should be clear that before any type of clinical study is initiated, evaluation tests are performed, as well as during and after its completion, to be able to evaluate the condition of these patients. To monitor continuously. , taking into account the patient’s experience with the study and how the procedure affects their quality of life.
The most significant advances science has made against the condition, clinical study coordinator Viviana Martinez, highlighted that they are “phase three studies, because drugs have always been designed to stop progression” and Right now the investigation is directed not only to, “but to find a reinfection factor, to rectify the damage already caused by the disease in the patient”.
Participation in clinical research studies helps to understand more about the condition and how it can improve the quality of life of patients, as well as in pharmacological contribution to achieve greater benefit in living patients. Can be improved. multiple sclerosis,
inside of foundation There is great support for the community created from patients living with the condition on the island, says the executive director of Lourdes Fernandez, which creates an active participation of all the spaces and facilities created by the institution. foundation of multiple sclerosis Of Puerto Rico, “We currently have about 3,000 patients registered, across the island, we have support programs where we provide equipment and wellness programs”
Main challenges of clinical studies
- Genetic factors that allow to understand the individual characteristics of each patient.
- Orientation of the patients to the front of the study (explaining everything they will have about their monitoring).
- Identify markers of this disease to improve diagnosis.
- To improve the prognosis that may be in treatment.
- Improve markers of various responses to various current and new drugs.
inside of foundation of multiple sclerosis One of Puerto Rico’s biggest challenges is to continue to offer patients the support they offer, with different teams depending on the characteristics of their diagnosis and the development of the disease, emotional processes and elements as facilitators. As both may be required. In the form of wheelchairs, canes, chairs, walkers.
foundation It has a collaborative agreement with the University of Medicine of Ponce, and a psychological support program for patients who understand various emotional and psychological processes, such as the uncertainty of diagnosis and treatment.
“The future is very promising, in the coming years we will have the necessary tools to be able to combat this disease,” concluded Dr. Angel Chinia, calling for a positive mindset about the future of science in the face of this disease.