CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is proud to mark the 10-year anniversary of one of its most sought after programs — the MRI Institute. This program is designed to help people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and lack health insurance coverage, acquire an MRI scan. The Institute has been supported by the pharmaceutical companies EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc since 2002. During that time, the Institute has helped over 7,500 individuals who have MS and could not otherwise afford an MRI to monitor their multiple sclerosis.
According to MSAA client Emily Johnson, the MSAA MRI Institute assisted in providing a much-needed resource in managing her MS. "As a young person with relapsing-remitting MS, my expenses associated with my MS, especially medication and medical procedures, such as an MRI are often a burden," states Johnson. "I was so excited to learn that the MSAA MRI Institute could possibly help me obtain a needed MRI. The assistance provided meant one less concern for me. I am truly grateful for the MSAA MRI Institute."
MRI scans play an essential role in the management of the ever-changing course of multiple sclerosis. With the valuable information provided by an MRI, physicians are able to make better treatment decisions and monitor the effectiveness of prescribed treatments making adjustments as necessary. Unfortunately, many people have neither the necessary insurance coverage nor the financial means to acquire an MRI to evaluate the status of their illness. The MSAA MRI Institute was established to meet this important need.
"Today, the MRI is recognized as one of our most powerful tools to gauge the effectiveness of therapy and monitor the progress of the disease," explains MSAA Chief Operating Officer Robert Rapp. "MSAA is proud to have been able to help so many individuals who would have been unable to receive the vital information provided by an MRI due to a lack of adequate insurance."
The MRI Institute is available for individuals in the United States with a confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and must meet eligibility requirements. To participate in the MRI Institute, documentation of financial need and a written request from a physician for an MRI is required. The MRI Institute applications are available by calling MSAA at (800) 532-7667, extension 120 and can be found on MSAA's website, www.msassociation.org/mri
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. MSAA provides vital programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; informative publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit www.msassociation.org or call (800) 532-7667.
The most common neurological disorder diagnosed in young adults, multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. This disorder damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves, causing reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. MS is not contagious or fatal.
SOURCE Multiple Sclerosis Association of America