Thursday, July 31, 2008

In the News: MS Registry Seeks Participants

Oregon is a multiple sclerosis hot spot: fact or myth? Or something in between?

Dr. Stanley Cohan, medical director of the Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center and founder of the Pacific Northwest Multiple Sclerosis Registry, hopes to find the answer.

When Cohan moved to Oregon in 2000, he was told that 4,000 people in Portland alone had MS. Statewide estimates ranged from 5,000 to 8,000.

Cohan's goal is to enroll every MS patient from Oregon and Southwest Washington. He knows he won't capture all, but he hopes to come close.

A fairly complete registry would give doctors a better idea of where patients are, where care is most available and how to better match the two. It also would allow researchers to track MS patterns and test the widespread notion that Oregon has a disproportionate rate.

This year, a national MS Registry Bill (H.R. 5874) was introduced in Congress. Click here to download the position paper (.pdf).

This is an excerpt from a story in The Oregonian by Don Colburn. Read the complete story here.

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