A Medical Guide to Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory disease that affects the myelin sheaths around the nerve endings of the central nervous system, leads to damage of the brain and spinal cord, ultimately affecting the sufferer’s mobility, sensory perception, and vision. The disease affects between two and one hundred and fifty people out of every 100,000 people. It usually strikes young adults ages 20 to 40. Statistically, there are a higher percentage of females that contract the autoimmune disease. Additionally, white Americans tend to be the most dominant race to contract the illness. Multiple Sclerosis was first coined a disease by Jean-Martin Charcot in 1868.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis, an inflammatory disease affecting the brain and spinal cord, may leave sufferers with the inability to move around without assistance. It may affect their vision and overall sensory perception. MS has often been coined as an autoimmune disease, because the body attacks its own myelin sheaths, fatty tissues that surround the nerve fibers of the central nervous system. MS sufferers gradually lose their cognitive and motor functions as the disease progresses without medical intervention.
- What Is Multiple Sclerosis?: WebMD describes multiple sclerosis (MS) as a debilitating disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, which ultimately leads to loss of mobility, vision, and sensation.
- The National MS Society: What is Multiple Sclerosis?: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought of to be an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks its own myelin, the fatty tissue that surrounds the nerve fibers in the central nervous systems.
- Neuroscience for Kids: What is Multiple Sclerosis?: A definitive description of what comprises multiple sclerosis.
- What is MS?: A comprehensive overview on the debilitating disease known as MS, including detailed charts that show what parts of the body it affects the most.
- What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? A thorough analysis and explanation behind the scientific aspects of the debilitating disease known as multiple sclerosis.
- What is MS? (PDF): A comprehensive brochure that details the symptoms of an MS sufferer.
- What is Multiple Sclerosis?: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides a detailed profile of MS.
- The Immune System’s Big Mistake: Multiple Sclerosis: An abstract explanation of the autoimmune disease known as MS.
- What is Multiple Sclerosis? How does it Differ from Other Diseases?: A comprehensive profile of the autoimmune disease known as multiple sclerosis and how it differs from other diseases.
- CCSVI and Multiple Sclerosis: An Advisory Statement from the Stanford Multiple Sclerosis Center: The Stanford Multiple Sclerosis Center has addressed CCSVI and its effect on the human brain, especially with sufferers of multiple sclerosis.
What are the Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis?
There are several distinct possible causes for the onset of MS, including genetics, pre-existing infections and autoimmune diseases. Certain patterns have emerged from previous studies that suggest white females between the ages of 20 and 40 have the highest risk of developing multiple sclerosis. A hyper-vigilant patient will seek out assistance to help cope and hopefully stave off the symptoms to a more tolerable level.
- The Causes of Multiple Sclerosis: Statistically, women are more affected by MS than men. More specifically, people between the ages of 20 and 40 are more likely to develop MS.
- The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America: A brief article detailing the nature of MS, signs and symptoms of identification, and the possible causes behind developing this debilitating disease.
Who is at the Highest Risk of Developing Multiple Sclerosis?
Additionally, Multiple Sclerosis will strike a certain group of individuals who are more prone to developing this debilitating disease. These risk factors have a pretty distinct pattern, which may prompt certain individuals to seek out a diagnosis to rule out an early onset. For instance, young adults who have a family history of MS may want to undergo a series of diagnostic tests to ensure the probability does not occur with them. If one has a higher probability of activating the disease, then he or she should try to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, minimizing stress and environmental triggers, and getting the proper treatment for other infections or diseases that may enable the onset of multiple sclerosis in the patient.
- The Risk Factors of Multiple Sclerosis: The Mayo Clinic lists a comprehensive chart of risk factors inherent to sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis, including the age group most susceptible to its development, the sex it often affects the most, genetics, certain infections that give leeway to its development, what race it affects most, what environment it thrives in, and whether the sufferer currently has another autoimmune disease or not.
- The New York Times: Multiple Sclerosis Risk Factors: The New York Times introduces a comprehensive list of MS risk factors that mirror the chart above.
How Many People are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis Each Year?
According to the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, an estimated 10,000 people will be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis by the end of a calendar year. Multiple Sclerosis affects approximately 2.5 million people around the world. These numbers are only estimates because physicians in the United States are not required to report new cases of MS and symptoms can be very difficult to spot.
- The Accelerated Cure Project for MS: Who gets MS?: Approximately 400,000 people in the United States have multiple sclerosis with over 2 million people diagnosed world-wide.
- Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center: Multiple Sclerosis Basics: A simple fact-sheet answer several frequently asked questions (FAQ), including the estimate of approximately how many people are diagnosed with MS per year.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis sufferers have complained about symptoms ranging from clumsiness, difficulty walking, vertigo, tunnel vision, fatigue, muscle spasms, stiffness, tremors, and depression. Multiple sclerosis affects the entire body, often leading to a degradation of the motor, sensory, coordination, bowel, bladder, sexual, cognitive, and other mental and physical functions. If left untreated or unaided, the progression of MS can lead to worsening symptoms that only manifest during the latter stages of the disease.
- What are the Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?: The signs and symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis includes: clumsiness, difficulty walking, vertigo, double vision or uncontrolled eye movements, fatigue, muscle spasms, bladder control problems, stiffness, tremors, depression, and more.
- What are the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?: A comprehensive chart of MS symptoms, including motor, visual, sensory, coordination, bowel, bladder, sexual, cognitive, and other affected faculties.
How is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed? What Tests are performed to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis?
The first step to determining whether a patient has MS is to undergo a series of diagnostic tests. Most specialists will use Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) technology to determine if the onset of MS has occurred or is manifesting in its intermediate stages. Other methods of diagnosis include a process known as evoked potentials, an electrical potential recorded from the central nervous system that will provide the data needed to assess whether the suspected patient has MS. Additionally, a physician will use cerebral and spinal fluid analysis to make a conclusive diagnosis.
- Different Diagnostic Tests for Multiple Sclerosis: There are different diagnostic tests that physicians use to detect multiple sclerosis, including Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI), evoked potentials, and cerebral and spinal fluid analysis.
- How is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?: A comprehensive article detailing the various diagnostic tests used to determine whether a patient has developed the onset of multiple sclerosis.
Is there a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis?
Currently, no cure exists for MS sufferers; however, there are a series of treatment options that can help stave off the disease from progressing into its later phases. Some of these treatment options include: medications, physical and speech therapy, good nutrition, avoiding stressful situations, removing obstacles in case of falls, assistance devices, and exercise programs. Other intensive, immunomodulation treatment options may prove beneficial for certain stages of the disease.
- Multiple Sclerosis Treatment: Currently, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis; however, there are several treatments for this debilitating disease, including medication, physical therapy, assistance devices, exercise programs, good nutrition, avoiding stressful environments, adjust and remove obstacles in your home to avoid falls.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Treatment Methods: Multiple Sclerosis has no cure. Certain medications and other intensive treatments can be used to curtail certain symptoms occurring within the patient.
How is Multiple Sclerosis Treated? What Kind of Therapies are Used?
Most physicians will use a series of treatment options and therapies to assist MS sufferers with their progression. Some of these treatment options include immunomodulation treatments. Immunomodulation treatments include medications that can help to slow the progress of the disease. Physical therapy is also an option for those suffering from multiple sclerosis. These treatments may be used to treat and prevent relapses from occurring. The proper intervention can prevent chronic progression, which can seriously leave an MS sufferer immobile and confined to enduring horrible symptoms.
- Treatments of Multiple Sclerosis: A comprehensive article providing an extensive list of intensive treatment methods for Multiple Sclerosis, including immunomodulating treatments, bone marrow transplants, stems cells, monoclonal antibodies, and medications.
- Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Options: A comprehensive list of treatment options for MS sufferers, including treatment for relapses, prevention of relapses, and treatment for chronic progression.
What are the Complications of Multiple Sclerosis?
MS sufferers have to endure various complications in everyday life. Some of the common complications of multiple sclerosis sufferers include depression, sexual dysfunction, problems with speech, lung problems, and an increased risk for osteoporosis. MS can also causes mental difficulties, such as problems remembering things and concentrating. Some of the complications of MS can be controlled with therapy and medication, others cannot be controlled.
- Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy: An abstract study detailing the complications of having multiple sclerosis and its effect on pregnancy.
- Bladder Management in Multiple Sclerosis: A detailed prognosis and analysis of bladder management while dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.
What can be expected for People Who are Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?
MS sufferers can expect to live with the illness for the rest of their lives; however, they can potentially live a fulfilling life with the right medical treatment and intervention. MS sufferers should expect to continue with the same symptoms throughout their life-time, including muscle spasticity, nausea, numbness, incontinence, constipation, loss of balance, loss of sexual function, blurred vision, disabling fatigue and depression. Depending on the treatment, these symptoms can be alleviated and pushed aside with brief episodes. It’s imperative that the sufferer remain on top of their medication regimen and seek out regular counsel to avoid chronic progression.
- Life Expectancy of Multiple Sclerosis: An article providing information regarding multiple sclerosis and the life expectancy, complications, and symptoms requiring treatment.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding multiple sclerosis, including the various aspects that a sufferer just diagnosed might expect as the disease progresses.
What Support Groups Exist for Sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis?
In addition to medical care, MS sufferers should seek out a support group to connect with those who also suffer from this debilitating disease. Without the proper support, life can become tiresome and depressing. People need to connect with those who can relate, and there’s no better source to do that than local support groups. This will also enable the sufferer and their families to connect with other qualified medical professionals for probable treatments to further alleviate and make life better for the patient.
- Multiple Sclerosis Support Groups: An interactive map providing contact information for MS support groups within the United States.
- Formation of a Support Group for Women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the Inner?City of Buffalo (PDF): A document detailing the necessary steps to creating an MS support group within the city of Buffalo; however, these steps can be applied to any geographical location.