Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease that disrupts the information flow within the brain and between the brain and body. This disease can damage and deteriorate your nerves permanently.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

MS has unpredictable symptoms and they can vary in intensity. While some people experience fatigue and numbness, others can experience vision problems, pains, and bladder issues, etc.

Common early signs of multiple sclerosis (MS) include:

  • vision problems
  • pains and spasms
  • cognitive problems
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • tingling and numbness
  • weakness or fatigue
  • bladder issues
  • sexual dysfunction

Symptoms often affect movement, such as:

  • Weakness or numbness in limbs, or the legs and trunk
  • Feeling electric-shock sensations on making certain neck movements, especially when you bend the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
  • Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait

Cause of Multiple Sclerosis

The real cause behind multiple sclerosis is not clear yet. The research is going on in various areas to identify the real cause of Multiple Sclerosis:

  • immunology
  • epidemiology
  • genetics
  • infectious agents

Risk factors of Multiple Sclerosis

The various factors that increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis:

  • Gender ­– Women are 2-3 times more prone to relapsing-remitting MS than men.
  • Age – MS can occur at any age but usually affects people age 16 – 55 years.
  • Family history – If anyone in your family – your parents or siblings has had MS, you are at higher risk of developing the disease.
  • Certain infections – Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis can lead to MS.
  • Race – White people, particularly from the Northern European area have the highest risk of developing MS.  Americans, Asians, or Africans have the lowest risk.
  • Vitamin D – Low levels of vitamin D in the body can increase the risk of developing MS.
  • Certain autoimmune diseases – The risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis is more if you’ve thyroid, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.

Complications

People with multiple sclerosis may also develop:

  • Muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Paralysis, typically in the legs
  • Issues with bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction
  • Mental changes, such as mood swings or start to forget things
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy

Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. MS treatment is focused on slowing the progression rate of the disease, speeding recovery from attacks, and managing MS symptoms. People with mild MS symptoms don’t require any treatment.

Treatments for MS attacks

  • Corticosteroids, such as intravenous methylprednisolone and oral prednisone, are prescribed to reduce nerve inflammation. These medicines may lead to some side effects such as high blood pressure, insomnia, mood swings and fluid retention.
  • Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) – In this procedure, plasma is removed and separated from your blood cells. The separated blood cells are then mixed with albumin (a protein solution) and inserted into your body. This procedure is done if your symptoms are new, severe and haven’t responded to steroids.

If you experience any of the MS symptoms, consult with a physician immediately. Your doctor will recommend the best possible treatment for your speedy recovery.

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