PROBUS CLUB OF PONTYPOOL: Mr Michael "Mike" Bailey, an active member of the Cwmbran and District branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society ( (01633 875273) gave a very informative talk, well illustrated with the aid of flip charts, to the Probus Club of Pontypool, at their meeting on Wednesday, February 7.

Mike, whose wife had been diagnosed with MS, stressed that his talk was strictly from a lay person's point of view, but the talk revealed that he did, in fact, possess excellent knowledge of the subject.

Mike commented that due to its complexity and variety of symptoms, MS is not easy to diagnose, and of necessity, thus involves an examination by a neurologist to carry out tests and other procedures before a final diagnosis may be made.

He explained that MS is a condition of the central nervous system, where the brain, via the spinal chord, through a web of nerves, carries messages to and from the rest of the body along nerve fibres called axons.

If the myelin sheaf surrounding these fibres is damaged, it results in the carriage of distorted messages, hence causing the different symptoms of MS.

Mike listed the various symptoms, and explained that although they seemed numerous it did not mean they always occurred.

He stressed that the time of greatest anxiety existed because of the uncertainty associated with the difficulty of diagnosis of MS.

There were many interesting questions from members to the speaker who answered them very effectively.

The chairman, Mr Wayne Rogers, thanked Mike for his well delivered talk, and this was then followed by the enthusiastic applause from fellow members.