Two new studies on the experimental multiple sclerosis (MS) drug BG-12 show that the treatment helps lessen the likelihood of flare-ups in patients, reports CBS News. With 400,000 people suffering from MS in the United States alone, these studies give hope that there could be a more effective treatment for the debilitating disease.
The neurological disease is “chronic” and “unpredictable” according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Even though over 200 people are diagnosed with MS every week, the disease effects individuals differently; most sufferers not becoming severely disabled.
Out of those 400,000 people in the U.S. afflicted with MS, many of them are familiar faces. Numerous celebrities are sufferers of the conditions, or have loved ones with MS.
Jack Osbourne was diagnosed with MS in June. The son of rockstar Ozzy Osbourne and TV personality Sharon Osbourne has been trying to take care of himself since his diagnosis and departure from “America’s Got Talent.”
"[Jack is] taking care of his health, his diet. That's a huge part of keeping himself well,” said Sharon Osbourne, according to CBS. “You have to take care of your immune system... and he's dealing with it, mind, body and spirit. He looks at it that way. He takes care of all of himself."
Jack’s mother will also be leaving the “America’s Got Talent” cast, claiming that NBC didn’t handle Jack’s health situation the way the network should have, reports the New York Post. "I just can’t be fake," she said about her feelings towards NBC, adding "its discrimination and it was badly handled."
The wife of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, Ann Romney has MS and it has been a part of the candidate’s campaign. There has been a focus on her diagnosis and how their family managed to function while Ann dealt with her health.
"You know, what happens with me is that I start to almost lose my words,” said the potential first lady while talking about an attack during the campaign, reports ABC. “I almost can't think. I can't get my words out. I start to stumble a little bit and so those things were happening and I thought, 'Uh oh, big trouble.'"
The late Richard Pryor was afflicted with multiple sclerosis before dying in 2005 from a heart attack. His diagnosis was given in 1986, Critical Condition alongside Gene Wilder, according to USA Today.
Unfortunately, the comedic actor’s condition worsened over the years, and eventually cost him his ability to perform. Despite his condition, Pryor continued to work on films through the early 90’s.
"Rather than surrender to forces beyond my control, I've decided to hang on till the end of the ride," he stated in his 1995 autobiography “Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences.”
First Lady Michelle Obama doesn’t have the neurological disease, herself, but her father was a victim of MS.
"My father had multiple sclerosis," she said on in an interview with David Letterman, reports Yahoo News. "I never knew him to be able to walk, but my dad worked so hard and he loved us so much, and I think from him I learned just absolute, complete unconditional love, the notion that kids really don't need anything but to know that their parents adore them."
Obama later lightened the mood by saying, “This isn't 'Oprah'! It's supposed to be 'Letterman.' What's up? Where are the laughs?"
Famed author of the “Harry Potter” book series, J.K. Rowling also dealt with a parent suffering from MS. The writer’s mother died in 1991 after a 10-year battle against multiple sclerosis.
In spite of the tragedy that took her mother, Rowling feels that creating the boy who lived was a way for her to deal with the loss.
"My books are largely about death," said Rowling, according to People. "They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal for anyone with magic.”
“I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it," she added.