Multiple Sclerosis is a disease is usually present in the form of recurrent attacks of focal or multifocal neurological
dysfunction of the brain and the spinal cord.
In multiple sclerosis, these messages do not travel through the central nervous system properly and are slowed, distorted or, in some cases, blocked completely due to damage to the nerve tissue.
The disease process attacks the myelin sheaths of the nerves and disrupts their function.
Attacks occur, remit and recur randomly over many years. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease begins most commonly
in early adult life. A first attack could be followedby another 10-20 years later. Multiple sclerosis is unpredictable and varies in severity. In some people, multiple sclerosis is a mild illness, but it can lead to permanent disability in others. Treatments can modify the course of the disease and relieve symptoms.
During a typical episode, symptoms worsen over a period of few days to 2-3 weeks and then,
remit. Recovery is usually rapid over a period of weeks. Initially recovery is complete, thereafter
it is incomplete and as one attack follows another, a stepwise decline commences with permanent
deficits. Most people with MS also exhibit paresthesias, transitory abnormal sensory feelings such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles" sensations. Some may also experience pain. Multiple sclerosis affects an estimated 300,000 people in the United States and probably more than 1 million people around the world -including twice as many women as men. Between attacks, symptoms may resolve completely, but permanent neurologic problems often persist. Although much is known about how MS causes damage, its exact cause remains unknown.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, potentially debilitating disease that affects your central nervous system, which is made up of your brain and spinal cord. It contains a detailed description of multiple sclerosis, a large archive of news stories about MS, encyclopedia and a large links section containing hundreds of commented and rated links. MS can cause a variety of symptoms , including changes in sensation , visual problems, muscle weakness, depression , difficulties with coordination and speech, severe fatigue, and pain. Most MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance. These symptoms may be severe enough to impair walking or even standing. In multiple sclerosis, the body mistakenly directs antibodies and white blood cells against proteins in the myelin sheath, a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers in your brain and spinal cord. The name multiple sclerosis refers to the multiple scars (or scleroses) on the myelin sheaths. This scarring causes symptoms which vary widely depending upon which signals are interrupted.
Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated MS , also known as disseminated sclerosis ) is a chronic , inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) . Although many patients lead full and rewarding lives, MS can cause impaired mobility and disability in more severe cases. Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40; the initial symptom of MS is often blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. Eventually, this damage can slow or block the nerve signals that control muscle coordination, strength, sensation and vision. It is thought that MS results from attacks by an individual's immune system on the nervous system and is therefore categorized as an autoimmune disease . Approximately half of all people with MS experience cognitive impairments such as difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment, but such symptoms are usually mild and are frequently overlooked.
Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis should not be diagnosed unless there is evidence that two or more different regions of the central white matter have been affected at different times. A diagnosis of clinically definite disease can be made in patients with a relapsing-remitting course and evidence on examination of at least two lesions involving different regions of the central white matter. The diagnosis is probable in patients with multifocal white matter disease but only one clinical attack, or with a history of at least two clinical attacks but signs of only a single lesion.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
The common Causes of Multiple Sclerosis :
- The precise cause of MS is unknown but it is thought to have several different "causes" because the evidence suggests that there are both genetic (inherited) and environmental factors.
- This nerve causes the muscles in your arm to contract, pulling your hand away from the heat.
- Acute transverse myelitis, when not attributable to MS, most likely is infectious (eg, Epstein-Barr virus [EBV], Lyme [rare]) or postinfectious. An important ED exclusion in these patients is mechanical compression by tumor, abscess, or aneurysm.
- The inflammation causes nerve impulses to slow down or become blocked, leading to the symptoms of MS.
- More than half the people with relapsing remitting MS eventually enter a stage of continuous deterioration referred to as secondary progressive MS. Sudden relapses may occur, superimposed upon the continuous deterioration that characterizes this type of multiple sclerosis.
- This is primary progressive MS with the addition of sudden episodes of new symptoms or worsened existing ones this form is relatively uncommon.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Some common Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis :
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body .
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
- Double vision or blurring of vision.
- Muscle spasms (especially in the legs).
- Numbness or abnormal sensation in any area.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Weakness of one or more extremities.
- Electrical shock sensations in the neck and spine.
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Here is the list of the methods for treating Multiple Sclerosis :
- Physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and support groups can help improve the person's outlook, reduce depression, maximize function, and improve coping skills.
- Consider airway protection in patients with altered mental status.
- Lioresal (Baclofen), tizanidine (Zanaflex), or a benzodiazepine may be used to reduce muscle spasticity.
- Evaluate and treat for dehydration. Administer crystalloid infusion until patient is euvolemic.
- Steroids are given to decrease the severity of attacks when they occur. These shut the immune system down to stop cells from causing inflammation.
- Amantadine for fatigue.
- Many medications are used for the muscle stiffness, depression, pain and bladder control problems associated with multiple sclerosis. Drugs for arthritis and medications that suppress the immune system may slow MS in some cases.
- A planned exercise program early in the course of the disorder can help maintain muscle tone.
No specific treatment is available as the cause of the disease is yet unknown. Several recent studies have suggested that immunosuppressive therapy with cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, methotrexate, cladribine, or mitoxantrone may help to arrest the course of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. The evidence of benefit is incomplete, however. There is little evidence that plasmapheresis enhances any beneficial effects of immunosuppression in multiple sclerosis.