Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) facts
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that causes demyelination (disruption of the myelin that insulates and protects nerve cells) of spinal nerve and brain cells.
- Although the exact case is unknown, multiple sclerosis is considered to be an autoimmune disease.
- Risk factors for the disease include being between 15-45 years of age; women have about two to three times the risk for multiple sclerosis than men.
- Multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs depend on where the nerves are demyelinated and may include
- visual changes,
- tingling or weakness (weakness may range from mild to severe),
- erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence)
- pregnancy problems,
- incontinence (or conversely, urinary retention),
- muscle spasticity,
- painful involuntary muscle contractions.
- There are four types of multiple sclerosis:
- relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS),
- the most common type), secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS),
- primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), and
- progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS).
- Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed by a patient's history, physical exam, and tests such as MRI, lumbar puncture, and evoked potential testing (speed of nerve impulses); other tests may be done to rule out other diseases that may cause similar symptoms.
- Multiple sclerosis treatment options include
- Most multiple sclerosis patients have a normal life expectancy; untreated patients may develop mobility dysfunction while patients with the severe progressive forms may develop complications like pneumonia.
- Ways to prevent getting multiple sclerosis have not been discovered.
- Research is ongoing into developing new medications, immune system modifications, and other ways to identify potential multiple sclerosis causes. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 5/15/2015