UL showcase vital research projects on World MS Day

Pictured at the '9,000 Steps for MS' walk was Susan Coote, MS Research UL, Jerry Flannery, Munster Rugby and Ava Battles, CEO MS

The University of Limerick celebrated five years of partnership with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Ireland. To mark this partnership and celebrate World MS Day UL hosted a "9000 Steps for MS" fundraiser and an academic showcase detailing significant life-enhancing research projects undertaken at UL for MS Ireland.

Professor Susan Coote, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, in the Department of Clinical Therapies, UL said, “The partnership between UL and MS Ireland means that the research we do is directly applicable to the needs of people with MS. We work closely with MS Ireland to ask the important questions that will have an impact on the lives of people living with MS in Ireland. Our research examining community based exercise programmes has changed physiotherapy service provision for people with MS in Ireland and is recognised internationally for its innovation and direct relevance to practice. Today we showcased past and current work that investigates how exercise and physiotherapy treatments can reduce symptom severity and improve quality of life for people living with MS.”

The MS research showcase highlighted a number of topics such as ‘Falls –Prevention for People Living with MS’, ‘Changing Physical Activity Behaviour’ and ‘The Use of Technology to Augment Rehabilitation.’

UL, with MS Ireland, has already developed products to assist people with MS. Computer engineers have carried out work on falls and activity monitors, while occupational therapy researchers and students have completed projects on fatigue management. As a result, a number of therapies were identified that are now being adopted across the public and private sectors as best practice.

Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling neurological condition of young adults in Ireland, most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. Three times more women than men are diagnosed with MS. There is currently no known cause or cure for the condition. 9,000 people live with MS in Ireland.

“9,000 Steps for MS” walk, run, dance or move is an MS Ireland initiative to help raise funds for vital services for the 9,000 people living with Multiple Sclerosis in Ireland.  This is one of their highlights for the year. UL’s walk was led by former Munster and Ireland rugby player, Jerry Flannery.

For more information visit www.msresearch.ie.