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Ogmore MP gets Personal on Ankylosing Spondylitis

NASS logoOgmore MP and Shadow Minister Huw Irranca-Davies has secured a debate on Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a muscular-skeletal condition which affects him and around 200,000 other people in the UK. Well known celebrities such as former England cricket captain Mike Atherton, world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik, and guitarist Mick Mars of Rock Band Motely Crue also have the condition.

Huw is an active walker and cyclist, and former sports coach who believes in self-management of the condition through exercise. But his experience is typical of people with AS, who are often diagnosed a decade after the condition has started to affect their health, and where quality of treatment and support varies hugely across the UK.

Huw will lay out a “Manifesto for AS”, including early diagnosis, clinical standards for treatment, and raising awareness of this condition which affects so many men and women from their teens onward. He will also be calling for continuing support for research and for funding for Anti-TNS treatments, and the increased use of MRI instead of X-rays for detecting AS.

“My treatment in recent years by the NHS has been excellent in recent years, but in my teens and twenties the lack of awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis – including by GPs – led to late diagnosis and inappropriate treatments.  This is still too typical of many people’s experience, and I want to help make sure other people get the right diagnosis and right treatment early when it can make a real difference to their lives. If the government wants to help people with AS stay active, stay in work and contribute to society and support their families, we can show them how.”