Advancing understanding of the multiple sclerosis (MS) prodrome: a focus on understudied signs and symptoms (MS-Pro-Us)

Multiple sclerosis likely begins years before the first neurological symptom. During this period, it can present as a set of yet to be well-defined, subtle symptoms, leading patients to increasingly seek medical attention years before actual MS symptom onset, and diagnosis. Our aim is to better understand the earliest signs of MS. We will look for poorly understood signs and symptoms such as sleep disturbances, palpitations, shortness of breath, and skin conditions among others that may appear months or years before MS onset. We will see if these signs are different in men and women and how such differences vary across different age groups. In addition, previous studies suggested that women who developed MS had fewer pregnancies and increased contraceptive use in the five years before MS onset. This may reflect lifestyle changes even before MS onset. We will look at all these issues in more depth than has ever been done before. We will have access to health data from large populations so that we can look in detail at people with and without MS. Our aim is to help doctors and researchers recognize when MS actually starts and to help doctors, patients and families get prompt, appropriate treatment for everyone who develops MS.

Aging in Place: A Perspective from Indigenous Older Adults and Elders

This partnership supports knowledge gathering to understand the choices of Indigenous older adults on where and how they want to choose to age-in-place. Working alongside Indigenous communities we will gather data on what aging-in-place means to Indigenous older adults. Modifying a developed survey, we are co-creating knowledge from across BC reflecting the needs and choices of Indigenous older adults and Elders. We anticipate building on this with our national partners to capture voices of different nations across what is called Canada. Stakeholder and community reports will be co-created with Indigenous communities. The generated evidence will first be reviewed within individual communities and thereafter shared through knowledge exchange events with government, Indigenous leaders and policy makers at the provincial and federal levels. Aging-in-place needs to extend from health (provincially governed) to family services, and housing (federally governed). Activities will be led by an advisory council of the communities from which the knowledge originates. Our goal is capture Indigenous voices, and with intentional listening elevate knowledge to shape policies and practice to support of aging-in-place for Indigenous communities.