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Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Adaptive Clothing for People with Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the coating that protects the nerves (myelin) is damaged and this causes a range of symptoms such as blurred vision and problems with how people move, think and feel.

Myelin protects the nerve fibres in the central nervous system which helps messages to travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body. In people who have MS, the immune system – which normally helps to fight off infections – mistakes myelin for a foreign body and tries to attack it. This causes damage to the myelin and strips it off the nerve fibres leaving scars such as lesions or plaques. The damage disrupts messages travelling along the nerve fibres meaning the messages slow down, become distorted, or don’t get through at all. As well as damaging the myelin, MS can also damage the nerve fibres too. This nerve fibre damage causes the increase in disability which can occur over time.

There are currently more than 100,000 people in the UK who have MS and it affects almost three times as many women as men.

Only 25% of people who have been diagnosed as having Multiple sclerosis (MS) are wheelchair users, but for those who do use a wheelchair it is important that they are able to have clothing that fits properly when sitting so that the wearer knows he or she looks smart and well-dressed. Fitting properly means that the clothes are not restricting. We only use materials that are comfortable to wear with a high content of natural fibres such as cotton and wool, while still being fully machine washable. Some people with MS (Multiple sclerosis) who have weak muscle power may need assistance with dressing and personal care, and our garments are designed to make life easier for the carers too.

As MS affects the messages that travel through the body’s central nervous system, it can cause mobility issues, poor balance and a lack of manual dexterity.

How we can help

At Able2 Wear, we have developed a range of adaptive clothing that is easy to put on and take off, made from high quality, comfortable materials, and with innovative fastenings that are easy to use. Our range includes clothes specially designed for wheelchair users (including trousers, fleeces, and waterproofs) and adaptive clothing for non-wheelchair users. All have been carefully designed and made with our customers’ needs in mind. We also have a collection of accessories such as easy fastening leather belts and clip on ties.

For useful information about MS visit the Multiple Sclerosis Society.