International Awareness Day For Chronic Immunological And Neurological Diseases (CIND) 2024 | FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES
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International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) 2024

 

The International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) is observed on May 12 every year since 1992. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) are collectively known as Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND). The day is designated to spread awareness among people about CIND and help the world to understand the seriousness of these diseases and conditions. It also aims to assist and educate patients, patient support groups and organizations, healthcare professionals about CIND.

The selection of May 12 holds historical significance, coinciding with the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the revered English army nurse whose legacy inspired the establishment of the International Red Cross. Florence Nightingale was reportedly to have suffered from a CFS-like condition herself.

CIND encompasses a spectrum of debilitating symptoms, including cognitive dysfunction, chronic musculoskeletal pain, profound fatigue, and a myriad of other manifestations, affecting individuals across diverse demographics and geographies.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a severely debilitating chronic illness defined by a worsening of symptoms after physical activity. Patients grapple with unexplained, relentless physical and mental exhaustion accompanied by widespread muscle pain, joint aches, disordered sleep, and neurological/cognitive impairments. To receive a diagnosis, these cyclical symptom patterns must be present for at least 6 months in adults or 3 months in children.

Fibromyalgia (FM) presents as a syndrome characterized by widespread pain, muscle aches, and stiffness, frequently accompanied by fatigue, disrupted sleep patterns, and tenderness at multiple specific points on the body.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), also known as environmental sensitivities (ES) or intolerance, is an acquired chronic condition with a link to environmental exposures. It is sometimes associated with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. The hallmark of MCS is the reproducible appearance of symptoms following repeated chemical exposure such as headaches, balance/coordination issues, anxiety, irritability, mood changes, burning/irritated eyes, stuffy/runny nose, coughing, irregular heartbeat, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, frequent urination, muscle/joint aches and pains, as well as rashes.

Other diseases recognized on this day includes chronic immunological conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, as well as neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s,  Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and others. Despite their distinct manifestations, these diseases share common threads of complexity, variability, and the potential for debilitating symptoms.

One of the greatest hurdles faced by individuals with these conditions is the lack of awareness and understanding in society. Misconceptions and stigma exacerbate difficulties in managing symptoms and accessing care. International Awareness Day aims to dispel myths, foster empathy, and advocate for support.

Furthermore, raising awareness is crucial for  promoting early detection and intervention. Many chronic immunological and neurological diseases have progressive courses, and timely diagnosis can significantly impact treatment outcomes and disease progression.

As we commemorate International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases, let us unite in solidarity with those affected by these conditions. By raising our collective voice, we can spark meaningful change, foster greater understanding, and pave the way towards a future where everyone receives the support and compassion they deserve in their journey towards health and well-being.

 

 
 
ASSOC. PROF. DR. LIYANA NAJWA BINTI INCHE MAT
 
Assoc. Prof. Dr.
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Date of Input: 12/05/2024 | Updated: 15/05/2024 | nadia_rahman

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