- What Is It?
- 11 Early Signs
- Age Group
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) by damaging and destroying the protective myelin sheath around the nerve fibers. Someone with multiple sclerosis might develop problems with muscle control, vision, bladder control and other body functions. The distinctive feature of multiple sclerosis is symptoms may affect different parts of the body months or sometimes years apart.
What are usually the first signs of multiple sclerosis?
The effects of multiple sclerosis are often different for everyone who develops the disease. Some people have fewer symptoms and do not need treatment. Others will have trouble getting around and doing daily tasks. Below are a few common signs; the first five signs are the most common in patients with multiple sclerosis.
- Abnormal sensations (tingling sensation or paresthesia) are the most common and early symptom where a patient feels pricking sensation.
- Muscle pain;
- Nerve pain.
- Blurred or double vision.
- Speech and swallowing problems
- Bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction
- Body balance, thinking, and emotional problems
- Muscle cramps
- Heat intolerance
What age do people get MS?
- Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed in females from ages 20 to 40. It may occur at any age and can involve both genders.
- It is possible to have MS begin in childhood or over 40 years of age, but it occurs less frequently in these age groups.
- Multiple sclerosis in children and teens is difficult to diagnose.
What are the causes of MS?
Doctors and researchers don’t fully understand the causes of multiple sclerosis, however there are few common risk factors:
How to diagnose multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is difficult to diagnose due to highly variable symptoms. It is important to rule out other conditions when diagnosing MS. A neurologist usually takes medical history and orders the tests below:
What is the treatment for multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis has no cure, however; multiple treatments available may improve body function and debilitating symptoms. Doctors might prescribe pain killers, antidepressants and other drugs, like muscle relaxers, tranquilizers, or botulinum toxin (Botox), to ease muscle spasms and to make MS attacks shorter and less severe.
Several drugs that may slowdown the disease and help in preventing nerve damage are used in treatment for MS which include:
- Beta interferon (Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif)
- Cladribrine (Maven clad)
- Dalfampridine (Ampyra)
- Dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
- Glatiramer (Copaxone)
- Mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
- Natalizumab (Tysabri)
- Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus)
- Siponimod (Mayzent)
- Teriflunomide (Aubagio)
Some studies suggest that vitamin D, which you synthesize from sunlight exposure, may strengthen your immune system and protect you from MS. Some people with higher chances of getting the disease move to sunnier regions to lower the risk of multiple sclerosis.
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MS (Multiple Sclerosis) vs. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Differences and SimilaritiesALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease) and MS (multiple sclerosis) are both diseases of the nervous system (neurodegenerative). ALS is a disease in which the nerve cells in the body are attacked by the immune system, although it's not considered an autoimmune disease by some scientists. MS is an autoimmune disease in which the insulated covering of the nerves (myelin sheath) in the CNS (central nervous system) degenerate, or deteriorate.
Scientists don't know the exact cause of either problem. However, they have discovered that mutations in the gene that produces the SOD1 enzyme were associated with some cases of familial ALS. Scientists also theorize that multiple sclerosis may be caused by infection or vitamin D deficiency. ALS occurs between 50-70 years of age (the average age of occurrence ALS is 55), and mostly affects men. While MS occurs between 20-60 years of age, and mostly affects women. About 30,000 people in the US have ALS, and an average of 5,000 new diagnoses per year (that's about 15 new cases per week). Worldwide, MS affects more than 2.3 million people, with about 10,000 new cases diagnosed each year (that's about 200 new diagnoses per week).
Some of the signs and symptoms of both diseases include muscle weakness, muscle spasms, problems walking, fatigue, slurred speech, and problems swallowing. ALS signs and symptoms that are different from MS include problems holding the head upright, clumsiness, muscle cramps and twitches, problems holding objects, and uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying. MS signs and symptoms that are different from ALS include vision problems, vertigo and balance problems, sexual problems, memory problems, depression, mood swings, and digestive problems.
There is no cure for either disease, however the prognosis and life expectancy are different. Multiple sclerosis is not a fatal condition, while ALS progresses rapidly and leads to death.
Baclofen Pump (Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis)The medication baclofen treats symptoms of spasticity in patient with MS. Side effects of baclofen include:
- headache, and
Botox to Treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS)Botulinum toxin is a muscle-relaxing medication used to decrease spasticity related to multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Botulinum toxin is derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are three types of botulinum toxin available for therapeutic use.
Can Stress Cause Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?Multiple sclerosis (MS) results when your immune system attacks the cells of the brain and spinal cord. It is an autoimmune disease, a condition in which the body’s immune system is misdirected and attacks its own cells. Stress can make it difficult for a person to manage MS symptoms. Regular exercise and mindful eating have been found to control the stress levels and overall health of people with MS.
Is MS Contagious? (Multiple Sclerosis)Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a degenerative disease of the covering around the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS). Researchers and doctors don't know the exact cause, but many theorize that it may be due to environmental triggers, an autoimmune disease, and viruses (infections).
Symptoms of MS include vision changes, paralysis, vertigo, heat intolerance, slurred speech, sexual dysfunction, and urinary incontinence (the inability to urinate).
There's no vaccine or cure for MS, but the progression and symptoms of the disease can be treated.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission. Symptoms of MS include sexual problems and problems with the bowel, bladder, eyes, muscles, speech, swallowing, brain, and nervous system. The early symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis usually start between age 20 and 40. MS in children, teens, and those over age 40 is rare. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage MS symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life ExpectancyMultiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage results in symptoms that may include numbness, weakness, vertigo, paralysis, and involuntary muscle contractions. Different forms of MS can follow variable courses from relatively benign to life-threatening. MS is treated with disease-modifying therapies. Some MS symptoms can be treated with medications.
Making an MS Friendly HomeAdults with multiple sclerosis may be at risk for injuries, hazards, and falling at home. Some simple home modifications can protect your health and safety and facilitate fall prevention. Reduce your risk of accidents and prevent hazards with these tips.
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Women who are pregnant and have multiple sclerosis may have more difficulty carrying a pregnancy. Multiple sclerosis does not affect ability to conceive, and does not seem to affect fertility. MS symptoms during pregnancy may stay the same or get better; however, they may worsen after giving birth. Pregnancy decreases the number of relapses, but flares increase in the first 3-6 months after delivery. Pregnant women with MS may carrying a pregnancy more difficult to tell when labor starts, and there is an increased need to use forceps or vacuum to assist with delivery or b7 C-section (Cesarean birth) increases.
Some treatment MS drugs may be safe to use during pregnancy; however, some drugs should not be taken, for example, baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), or solifenacin succinate (VESIcare), and most disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).
Talk with your healthcare team about vitamins, supplements, and medications that you are taking if you are pregnant and have MS.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Early Warning Signs and TypesMultiple sclerosis (MS) can be thought of as an immune-mediated inflammatory process involving different areas of the central nervous system (CNS) at various points in time. Early warning signs and symptoms of MS in children, teens, and adults are similar; however, children and teens with pediatric also may have seizures and a complete lack of energy. Adults with MS do not have these signs and symptoms. Other signs and symptoms of MS include inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis), changes in vision, Wiping or having tissues around the eye and moving the eye may be painful, and double vision. There are four types of MS, relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive relapsing MD (PRMS).
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