- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
What is MS or Multiple Schlerosis
MS May Lead to Disabilities
What is Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease affecting the Spinal Cord, optic nerves and brain. It is thought to be an immune system disorder.
MS is more common in women that men. Patients are diagnosed usually between 20 to age 40 but people of all ages are now being diagnosed. There are 2.5 million people with MS.
The disease is caused by the immune system attacking the fatty myelin sheath of the nerves. The myelin protects nerves as electrical tape protects electrical wires. When the nerve becomes exposed it develops scar tissue called lesions or plaques can be seen on an MRI.
Nerve Cell Damage by MS
Signs and Symptoms of MS
Symptoms of MS
A person will have different symptoms depending on the degree of damage to the myelin in his nerves. The symptoms can also vary because of which parts of the brain, nervous system or optic nerve is damage
- Vision problems
- Bladder or bowel control
- sexual problems
- problems focusing
- numbness and tingling
What i Multiple Sclerosis
Factors Affecting the Disease
It is not known what causes MS . It can go into states of remission and them flare up again. It is thought that heredity may play a small part as well as certain viruses. People with inadequate amounts of vitamin D are also thought to be more prone to MS. Many patents have found themselves to get better when moving to warmer climates where they are exposed to more sunlight.
Cigarette smoking also seems to have some influence in becoming ill with MS. It was once thought that too much salt was a factor but this is no longer believed.
Proper rest, diet and exercise as well as decreased stress all seem to play a role in how a patient does with the disease. These same factors affect all chronic illness
There is no cure and once diagnosed you will always have the illness but it can stay calm for extended periods.
People with MS can live a normal life span. There are believed to be two extremes of the disease. The first is benign in which the patient does well no matter what is seen on the MRI and the other is Marburg Variant of the disease in which rapidly progressive symptoms are seen and death soon ensues.
Even with benign MS proper care is important so that complications such as pneumonia don't cause hospitalization or worse.
Prevalence of MS in Different Locations around the World
Different Types of MS Predict the Course of the Disease
MS is classified into a series of subtypes in order to help diagnose the level of impairment of a particular patient. The subtypes also help to diagnose the progression of the disease. They are:
- Relapsing-remitting (RR) MS The most common type seen in 65% of patients with periods of flares and then remissions that can last for extended periods of time.
- Primary- Progressive (PP) MS This is the type in which the patient has continuous symptoms and gets progressively worse.
- Secondary- Progressive (SP) MS This type is seen after a patient has been in RR and moves into a more dangerous form of the disease with steady decline.
- Progressive-Relapsing (PR) MS This is the least common form of MS seen in only 5% of patients. The MS gets progressively worse as in patients with Primary-progressive MS but they will still have times of remission.
Symptoms of MS
How MS is Diagnosed
Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
New medications have been developed to treat the symptoms of MS. Eye problems are usually treated with solu-medrol and corticosteroids.
Muscle Spasticity is treated with muscle relaxants, tranquilizers and even anti-epileptics.
Leg weakness is generally treated with braces and physical therapy
Depression and emotional outbursts are treated with anti -depressants, provigil for fatigue.
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