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The Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society (AISM)

 

The Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society (AISM) is the only organization in Italy that addresses every aspect of multiple sclerosis (MS), through advocating for the rights of people with MS and providing services and through orienting, promoting, and financing scientific research.

 

MS is among the most common major diseases of the central nervous system. It is chronic, unpredictable, progressive and can lead to serious disability. MS is diagnosed in young adulthood, typically between 20 and 40 years of age and women are diagnosed nearly three times as often as men. The type and severity of symptoms as well as the disease course varies from one person to another. In Italy there is a person diagnosed with MS every 3 hours.

 

AISM was founded in 1968 with the objective of advocating for the rights of people with MS, and over time has become the principle resource not only for people with MS, but for families, healthcare professionals and anyone involved in the fight against this disease.  

 

Today we celebrate an important milestone of 50 years of commitment to people with MS. The path to which AISM has been committed over the last 5 decades has required planning, participation, passion and diligence, with a shared vision consistently focused on bringing tangent results to the MS community.  

 

In order to assure that PEOPLE with MS can achieve their life goals, our responsibility is to provide accessible information, support and services to every person with MS and his or her family. We strive to achieve this every day, through the MS Society’s network of 100 local branches and regional coordinating centers present throughout Italy, and with over 13,000 volunteers. This coordinated effort guarantees that no person with MS is alone in facing their disease, but rather can find the answers they need through the MS Society. Promoting individual empowerment of the person at every stage of life and throughout the disease course is achieved through a personalized approach that considers, above all, the individual’s autonomy, life goals and rights.

 

The MS Society’s commitment to RESEARCH focuses on identifying effective therapies and treatment, slowing the progression of the disease, and one day finding a definitive cure. This requires concrete resources and thanks to the establishment of the MS Society’s research foundation – FISM  in 1998, these efforts have been rewarded.

 

In the past 20 years the landscape for those who face MS everyday has evolved, thanks to the impact of new medications and advances in other therapeutic areas. AISM has made a significant contribution to achieving these results through identifying research priorities that require excellence and innovation and by being a leader in MS research nationally and internationally. We have played a role in tapping the passion and commitment of scientists from the most important areas of MS research and have invested over 20 million euro between 2014 and 2017.

 

AISM places great importance on the RIGHTS of people with MS in order to assure their full inclusion in society. Through a continual dialogue with key stakeholders, including government representatives and legislators, AISM invests in a tangible advocacy plan that promotes programs and actions to improve the political, social and healthcare landscapes. The plan directly focuses on bettering legislation in order to improve the quality of life of people with MS and those with other illnesses and disabilities.

 

A commitment to providing information, increasing awareness and improving knowledge about MS is based on a continual dialogue with people living with the disease in order to understand their needs and expectations. This dialogue contributes to intensifying the MS Movement and has had not only an impact on the MS community, but on society as well. Today the MS community, through collective action coordinated by AISM, is capable of drawing increasing attention to this complex disease that represents a social and health crisis for the country.

 

The challenges of MS can be faced and overcome together. Today, with even more impact than 50 years ago, we can make a difference for people living with MS within the framework of programs and policies on healthcare, inclusion, assistance, welfare, employment, civic participation and research. This is possible thanks to all of the women and men, young people, activists, volunteers, members, scientists, donors, healthcare professions and every other stakeholder who has chosen to be by our side. The priceless amount of effort, time, expertise and commitment given every day are the ingredients that make the MS Movement great.

 

Together, one victory after another, we have accomplished a great deal. But we can and must continue. The future can be brighter, starting from today. For this reason we ask each person to be a part of the MS Movement.

 

Ultimo aggiornamento giugno 2018



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