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The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) is the only registered charity dedicated to the needs of people affected by ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in the UK.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a progressive form of inflammatory arthritis which can cause irreversible fusing of the spine and may affect other areas of the body including the eyes, lungs, bowels and heart. The condition lasts a lifetime and there is no cure.
Around 200,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with AS. Symptoms usually start in the late teens and early twenties but it can currently take up to 7 years to get a diagnosis. AS can also have a devastating impact on education, work, social and family life. Around a third of people with AS are unable to work.
Since 1976 NASS has played a crucial role in providing accurate and up to date information allowing people with AS to have a greater understanding of their disease and in turn, make more informed choices in the management of their symptoms. They do this by:
• Responding to daily requests for advice and information by telephone, email and letter on a wide range of topics including associated diseases, medication, practical aids, employment, insurance, benefits and more;
• Producing a variety of resources including patient guides, fact sheets, audio podcasts, exercise DVDs and materials for people with AS and healthcare professionals;
• Providing regular supervised hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions through a network of around 85 volunteer branches around the UK;
• Keeping people up to date with the latest developments in effective treatment of the disease via the website, email alerts and our bi-annual newsletter for members and health professionals;
• Acting as advocate for people with AS working alongside the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), health service providers and policy makers in raising the profile of AS and, in particular, the need for earlier diagnosis and access to appropriate care; and
• Actively encouraging participation into research into the cause, genetics, treatment and management of the disease.
NASS receives no government or statutory funding and so they rely on donations from the general public to continue their work. This is why people like you are so important.
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