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affective symptoms, caring, CNS, demyelinating autoimmune diseases, disease, interdisciplinary health team, multidisciplinary care teams, multiple sclerosis, palliative care, palliative medicine, quality of life



  1. Wilder, Carolyn Ann BSN, RN


Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects more than 2.8 million people worldwide and is an incurable, heterogeneous, chronic, degenerative, demyelinating, immune-mediated neurological disease of the central nervous system. It affects the physical, mental, psychosocial, financial, and spiritual dimensions of patients and their families. Given this illness trajectory and the multiple complex symptoms associated with MS, palliative care services would improve the quality of life for MS patients. Palliative care is a human right for all patients with a life-limiting, progressive disease. The goal of palliative care is the prevention and relief of suffering by means of assessment and treatment that holistically addresses symptoms and suffering. Thus, this article argues for the early integration of palliative care for persons given a diagnosis of MS. This argument is underscored by the analysis of a case study of a typical patient with MS who would have benefited from conjunctive palliative care.