Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves) resulting in symptoms that range from mild (numbness) to severe (paralysis). Although the cause is not known, most researchers and clinicians think that somehow environmental, genetic, and/or infectious agents may, either alone or in combination, trigger an immune response in individuals that causes immune cells to begin to destroy the nerve-insulating myelin coverings. Myelin coverings protect nerves from interfering electrical impulses, irritating chemicals in their immediate environment, and promote good nerve signals. Simply stated, myelin acts like the insulation on wires that are bundled together in close proximity; if the wires start to lose their insulation, they may not function well and if they get wet, they can short out and not function at all. The disease has many symptoms that are nonspecific and makes MS a disease that is difficult to distinguish from many others. However, diagnosis is possible and once diagnosed MS can be treated (but not cured).
Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What is Botox?
Botox is one specific brand of purified botulinum toxin, which is the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Medical uses of botulinum toxin began in 1980, when targeted weakening of eye muscles was identified as a potential treatment of strabismus, a condition in which the eyes don't line up correctly.
Although many different types of botulinum toxin have been identified, only types A and B are approved for the use in treatment of muscle problems. In addition to Botox, other approved forms of botulinum toxin A include Dysport and Xeomin. Myobloc is the approved form of botulinum toxin B.
When used for clinical purposes, the toxin is used in small amounts, leading to weakness in the muscles into which it is injected. This weakness can be beneficial in various conditions characterized by too much muscle activity, such as dystonia or spasticity. This is in distinct contrast to the disease botulism, which occurs when the non-purified bacterium is ingested and the toxin is dispersed through the body causing widespread weakness.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that causes demyelination of the brain and spinal cord. When this occurs, axons (the parts of the nerve cells that conduct impulses to other cells) don't work well. As more areas are affected by this loss of myelin, patients develop symptoms. The specific symptom that someone might experience is related to the area of injury in the brain or spinal cord. Patients might describe numbness, tingling, or weakness. The weakness may be mild or severe enough to cause paralysis of one side of the body. In some cases, patients may develop incontinence or even an inability to empty their bladder. As multiple sclerosis progresses, some patients are left with muscle spasticity or an involuntary painful contraction of certain muscles.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2016