Multiple Sclerosis is a recurrent disease which attacks the central nervous system. It affects the spinal cord, the brain and optic nerves.
The symptoms vary widely with mild symptoms which include numbness and tingling. Severe cases include vision loss and paralysis.
You cannot also predict how the disease progresses.
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS):
This is a type of disease which affects the CNS (central nervous system).
In the central nervous system (CNS), Myelin Sheath surrounds the nerve fibres, and this Myelin Sheath protects them. It also assists the nerves to conduct electrical signals fast and efficiently.
You can also refer MS as scar tissue in multiple areas. This is so because the myelin sheath disappears in many areas leaving a scar or sclerosis.
The areas where there is no myelin, those parts are known as lesions or plaques when the Plaques get worse; the nerve fibres can become damaged or break. And because of this, there will be no smooth electrical impulse from the brain to the target brain.
When there is no myelin, messages cannot be transmitted, and nerve fibres cannot conduct electrical impulse at all.
Types of MS
There are four types of MS
• Clinically isolated syndrome(CIS): This is the first episode with the symptoms staying for at least 24 hours.
• Relapse-remitting MS(RRMS): This type of MS is the most common form with new and increasing symptoms.
• Primary progressive MS (PPMS): The symptoms worsen as time goes on, without early remission or relapses
• Secondary progressive MS (SPMS): This is the last stage of the disease as it progresses steadily.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
• Visual disturbances
• Muscle weakness
• Problems with memory and thinking
• Tingling and numbness
• Difficulties with balance and coordination
Less common symptoms include
• Speech problems
• Problems in swallowing
• Difficulties in hearing
• Breathing problems or respiratory issues
Effects of MS
• Social dysfunction: Lack of interest in sex for both male or female affected.
• Fatigue: it also affects their ability to work at home or in their workplace.
• Dizziness and vertigo: This is a common problem, which also affects difficulties in balance.
• Emotional changes and depression: It can also trigger emotional changes. Because of the challenges of adjusting to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, it makes them look be depressed.
• Vision problems: There might be a blurring vision or double vision, or a total or partial loss of vision. It mostly affects one eye at a time. It can also result in pain in the eyes when the eyes move due to inflammation of the optic nerve.
• Tremor: there may also be quivering movements that is involuntary.
• Bladder problems: it might also result in difficulties when urinating as you find it difficult to empty the bladder completely.
• Mobility changes: it also affects the people who are affected in the way they walk due to muscle weakness or problems with dizziness, balance or fatigue.
• Spasticity and muscle spasms
• Bowel problems
Causes and risk factors
There is no exact cause for MS, but it is linked to the autoimmune disorder. There are many uncertain theories towards why people develop Multiple Sclerosis. The principles include Vitamin D deficiency to viral infection.
Another theory is consuming so much salt than the amount you are meant to take. These theories have not yet been confirmed.
Who is at Risk for MS
• Genetic Factors: although it has not be proven that MS is inherited, the first-degree relative with MS has a higher risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis.
• Residents in the Northern part of the Latitude (example, Northern Europeans countries) also have a high percentage risk of developing MS.
• Sex: ladies are likely to develop MS more than men.
• Age: People within the age of 20 and 50 years have a high chance to develop MS.
• Exposure to sunlight might make people develop MS as people who live further away from the equator have a large percentage of MS.
Other possible risk factors linked to MS which is not yet confirmed include:
• Infections: viruses that may trigger MS include Mononucleosis, Epstein Barr and Varicella.
• Exposing yourself to toxic substance like thick metal or solvent is also another risk factor for developing MS
• Too much intake of salt in the diet might also be a possible factor to cause MS or might also trigger MS.
Other theories include
• Physical trauma
• An artificial sweetner
• Canine distemper
Though the theories mentioned above have no evidence to back it up. MS is possibly triggered by Multiple factors.
Professional health-care to meet when you have MS.
• Neurologist: a neurologist is a doctor who is in training the disease of the brain and the nervous system. The neurologist will help in training the disease of the brain and nervous system.
• Speech pathologist: A speech pathologist will be of a great help to the patient in improving the patient speech. He can also assist the patient in swallowing problems if the problem is identified.
• Radiologist: a radiologist will interprete the imaging studies gotten to help improve the status of the patients. He does this by comparing the present studies to previous studies to determine if the disease has stabilized.
• Physical therapist: they help the patients to regain and maintain their strength and their movement from place to place.
• Occupational therapist: they work hand in hand with the physical therapist, but they do move in helping the patients adjust to the environment by enhancing them on the use of tools or actions to perform safely during daily activities.
• Clinical Psychologist: They helps the patients who are having depression and anxiety.
Medications for MS
There are different types of drugs approved for the relapsing forms of MS
• Corticosteroids: these are the most recommended drugs for MS. They suppress the immune system and reduces inflammation.
• Interferon Beta 1a or 1b: these drugs should be taken with care as they can damage the liver. It also slows down the progression of symptoms.
• Cannabis Extract: this help to relieve insomnia, pain, muscle stiffness.
• Aubagio (teriflunomide): this is for adult, to be taking daily for relapsing forms MS.
• Tysabri (Natalizumab): This drug is used for patients who cant tolerate other treatments, and it increases the risk of developing a fatal brain infection (leukoencephalopathy)/
• Mitoxantrone (Novantrone): this si used to suppress the immune system and is utilized in the later stages. It can damage the heart.
• Copaxone (Glatiramer): this stops the immune system from attacking the Myelin Sheath. It is administered once a day.
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