Multiple sclerosis ; Causes and Treatment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged.This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to transmit signals, resulting in a range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems.Specific symptoms can include double vision, blindness in one eye, muscle weakness and trouble with sensation or coordination. MS takes several forms, with new symptoms either occurring in isolated attacks (relapsing forms) or building up over time (progressive forms).Between attacks, symptoms may disappear completely; however, permanent neurological problems often remain, especially with the advancement of the disease.



It's a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.

In many cases, it's possible to treat symptoms. Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS.

It's most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age. It's about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men.

MS is 1 of the most common causes of disability in younger adults.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
The symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body.

The main symptoms include:


  • fatigue
  • difficulty walking
  • vision problems, such as blurred vision
  • problems controlling the bladder
  • numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
  • muscle stiffness and spasms
  • problems with balance and co-ordination
  • problems with thinking, learning and planning
  • Depending on the type of MS you have, your symptoms may come and go in phases or get steadily worse over time (progress).


Getting medical advice

See a GP if you're worried you might have early signs of MS.

The early symptoms often have many other causes, so they're not necessarily a sign of MS.

Let your GP know about the specific pattern of symptoms you're experiencing.

If they think you could have MS, you'll be referred to a specialist in conditions of the nervous system (a neurologist), who may suggest tests such as an MRI scan to check for features of MS.


Credit : FX Medicine

Find out more about diagnosing MS

Types of multiple sclerosis (MS)
MS starts in 1 of 2 general ways: with individual relapses (attacks or exacerbations) or with gradual progression.

Relapsing remitting MS
More than 8 out of every 10 people with MS are diagnosed with the relapsing remitting type.

Someone with relapsing remitting MS will have episodes of new or worsening symptoms, known as relapses.

These typically worsen over a few days, last for days to weeks to months, then slowly improve over a similar time period.

Relapses often occur without warning, but are sometimes associated with a period of illness or stress.

The symptoms of a relapse may disappear altogether, with or without treatment, although some symptoms often persist, with repeated attacks happening over several years.

Periods between attacks are known as periods of remission. These can last for years at a time.

After many years (usually decades), many, but not all, people with relapsing remitting MS go on to develop secondary progressive MS.

In this type of MS, symptoms gradually worsen over time without obvious attacks. Some people continue to have infrequent relapses during this stage.

Around half of people with relapsing remitting MS will develop secondary progressive MS within 15 to 20 years, and the risk of this happening increases the longer you have the condition.

Primary progressive MS
Just over 1 in 10 people with the condition start their MS with a gradual worsening of symptoms.

In primary progressive MS, symptoms gradually worsen and accumulate over several years, and there are no periods of remission, though people often have periods where their condition appears to stabilise.




What Causes MS?

Doctors don’t know for sure what causes MS, but there are many things that seem to make the disease more likely. People with certain genes may have higher chances of getting it. Smoking also may raise the risk.

Some people may get MS after they’ve had a viral infection -- like the Epstein-Barr virus or the human herpesvirus 6 -- that makes their immune system stop working normally. The infection may trigger the disease or cause relapses. Scientists are studying the link between viruses and MS, but they don’t have a clear answer yet.


Some studies suggest that vitamin D, which you can get from sunlight, may strengthen your immune system and protect you from MS. Some people with higher chances of getting the disease who move to sunnier regions seem to lower their risk.

Treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS)

There's currently no cure for MS, but a number of treatments can help control the condition.

The treatment you need will depend on the specific symptoms and difficulties you have.



It may include:

treating relapses with short courses of steroid medicine to speed up recovery
specific treatments for individual MS symptoms
treatment to reduce the number of relapses using medicines called disease-modifying therapies
Disease-modifying therapies may also help to slow or reduce the overall worsening of disability in people with a type of MS called relapsing remitting MS, and in those with a type called secondary progressive MS who have relapses.

Unfortunately, there's currently no treatment that can slow the progress of a type of MS called primary progressive MS, or secondary progressive MS in the absence of relapses.

Many therapies aiming to treat progressive MS are currently being researched.

Source 1.2

Post a comment

0 Comments

Ad blocker detected

Ads help us fund our site, please disable Adblocker and help us provide you with exclusive content. Thank you for your support