An Enfield woman has taken part in a study which shows that people from a black African background may be less able to cope emotionally with a degenerative disease than their white British counterparts.
The study by scientists at King’s College London showed that MS sufferers from black African communities spoke of being less able to deal with feelings of unresolved loss and confusion as a result of their rapidly advancing symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological condition that damages the central nervous system and affects approximately 100,000 people in the UK. Juanita Lema, from Palmers Green has had the condition since 2000 and took part in the study.
She said: “They asked me to go for a scan so that they could look how the nerves develop over time. I chose to take part in the study because I hope in some way they can find a cure for people in the future to avoid getting this disease.”
The 40-year-old described her experiences of being diagnosed and how she has been dealing with it for the past 13 years.
She said: “It was a shock at the time, for sure. I used to be a carer when I was diagnosed with MS. At the start I thought to myself, oh my god, in a couple of years I am going to be unable to do anything.