Spinal syringomyelia is a serious condition that affects roughly eight in 100,000 people. It is a life-altering condition that can result in paralysis and a variety of other symptoms, which is why Dr. Payam Toobian dedicates himself to raising awareness and combatting the disease.
Syringomyelia Awareness Month takes place from May 1 to May 31, every year. However, experts like Dr. Toobian believe it’s essential to raise awareness for this disease every day.
The Importance of Syringomyelia Awareness
Syringomyelia is a disease that can cause a variety of symptoms ranging in severity. Symptoms range from neck, shoulder, and upper back pain to limb numbness and an inability to sense temperature changes in the limbs. Syringomyelia currently has no cure, which is why Payam Toobian and other experts believe raising awareness of the disease is essential.
Awareness allows doctors, scientists, patients, and all individuals to reflect on the disease’s history, research, and essential innovations that led treatment to where it is today.
History of Spinal Syringomyelia
The first case of syringomyelia was found in 1688 when physician Johann Conrad Brunner came across a liquid-filled cavity in an infant’s spinal cord. Syringomyelia did not become a medical term until 1827. Charles-Prosper Olivier d’Angers created the term to describe the existence of a liquid-filled cyst (or cavity) inside a spinal cord. Late in the 1800s, German physicians began documenting instances of these abnormal cavities found in patients’ spines. They recorded how they differed from the spines of healthy adults.
Gardner’s Hydrodynamic Theory came about in 1965 when Dr. Gardner surmised that the cause of the disease is due to a difference in spinal fluid pressures. This eventually led to the groundbreaking research performed by Dr. Payam Toobian and others.
Payam Toobian and Raising Awareness
According to experts like Dr. Toobian, awareness plays an integral role in advancing research for certain diseases. He recently discussed several ways citizens can help raise awareness for syringomyelia and eventually help in the discovery of new, more advanced treatment methods.
Spread the Word
Individuals can spread the word about syringomyelia, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment by passing out flyers, discussing the topic with others, making signs, or several other means. Dr. Toobian explained that the more people know about the disease, the more everyone can do to help.
Purchase Merchandise or Donate
One of the best ways to support research for syringomyelia is to purchase items where the funds go toward the study of the disease. Direct donations to reputable syringomyelia organizations are also ideal. All this money goes toward supporting those who best understand syringomyelia and their efforts to cure it.
Not everyone has the funds to support every cause they wish. There are numerous support groups for syringomyelia patients online. Dr. Toobian suggests reaching out to those support groups to see if they need volunteer help. Volunteers can moderate meetings, help create websites, and fulfill numerous other tasks.