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Ankylosing Spondylitis gets center stage at the House of Commons

By Micki Hogan     Feb 26, 2013 in Health
After winning the ballot to choose the adjournment debate Huw Irranca-Davies, MP for Ogmore got personal and shared his story in the hopes to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis at the House of Commons located in the United Kingdom
An adjournment debate is a short debate that takes place in the House of Commons after all other business of the day is concluded. Mr Irranca-Davies spoke very candidly about his diagnosis and what it is like for him to live every day with the largely unknown disease.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the spine and joints. It causes bones to deteriorate and can eventually cause spinal fusion commonly known as Bamboo Spine. The disease has been known to also affect internal organs sometimes causing permanent damage to the patient. Each case of the disease must be treated on an individual basis as the disease affects every patient differently. Often AS patient symptoms will go untreated for years before a patient is properly diagnosed. During those years a patient is often left in chronic pain and may face complications if left untreated.
In what he called a "Manifesto for AS" he addressed issues such as the need for early diagnosis and what he believes clinical standards should be. He also spoke very passionately about the need for awareness. He also called for the support of research and funding of Anti-TNF treatments.
During the debate the Minister of Care and Support, Norman Lambert MP, answered back by stating the Government 'fully' recognizes the importance of early diagnosis and how Ankylosing Spondylitis is different from other causes of chronic back pain. He did however acknowledge the importance of information made available to the general public.
Mr Lamb welcomed NASS and their campaign. He plans to schedule a meeting with Hus Irranca-Davies MP, NASS, and Arthritis Research UK.
This is a huge step in governments worldwide acknowledging the severe need of awareness of the invisible illness.
More about Ankylosing spondylitis, invisible illness, Rheumatic arthritis, Chronic pain, Anna nicole smith
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