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Patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and similar neurological disorders will continue to receive specialised support and treatment at Austin Health in Melbourne thanks to a $10,000 Slater and Gordon community fund grant.

Neuro-Immunology Clinical Research Education and Support Service (N-CRESS) provides a tailored service to support people with MS and their families with a variety of challenges they face through diagnosis, treatment and management of their disorder.

Managing Nurse Belinda Bardsley said the clinic, run by MS nurses, was the first of its kind in Australia and helped hundreds of patients each year.

“MS is a debilitating and unpredictable disease, for which there is no known cure,” Ms Bardsley said.

“We are privileged to be able to establish an ongoing relationship with patients and their families to ensure they maintain their quality of life while also achieving the best possible clinical outcome.

“This grant from Slater and Gordon will allow us to continue our vital work with our patients as well as facilitating long term dedication to MS treatment.”

Ms Barsley said the clinic sees up to eight patients each week, including those needing support following diagnosis, those in crisis or those facing complex and difficult treatment decisions.

“MS is a common neurological disease in young adults, with the average age of diagnosis being between 20 and 40 years of age,” She said.

“One of our most recent patients is a 23 year old woman who was diagnosed with MS last year. She had several relapses within a short period of time and was struggling to come to terms with her diagnosis, while also juggling work and study.

“After several visits to the clinic with her family, we provided her with the guidance and treatment to give her the best chance of stabilising her disease while also allowing her to continuing her university studies and maintain an active lifestyle.”

Victorian General Manager Dina Tutungi said Slater and Gordon is proud to support a program dedicated to improving the lives of people suffering from various neurological disorders.

“The role of the N-CRESS nurse is critical in the management of MS, providing an unprecedented support network for sufferers and their families,” Ms Tutungi said.

“Since it was established in 1996, it has built a reputation for excellence and expertise in both clinical care and research, conducting a number of clinical trials to gain a better understanding of this complex disease and future developments in MS treatment.

“The Slater and Gordon Community Fund was set up to help improve the lives of people facing various challenges, supporting initiatives that promote healthy living, assisting people with disease or disability, or addressing inequality and disadvantage.”

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