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Multiple Sclerosis

  • Posted on- Jun 03, 2017
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, immune-mediated disorder, that is the immune system mistakenly attack our own vital function performing organs.Here,the myelin sheath,the protetective layer of the nerve cells are damaged. Due to which the nerve cells get damaged, which cause diminished level of brain and spinal cord function.


Symptoms

Most person having doesn't have any symptoms in early stage ,but some symptoms can be seen in more acute phase. The symptoms related to MS are-

  • Vision problem or double vision
  • Sensation or feeling of numbness, tingling, or weakness. The weakness may be mild or severe enough to cause paralysis of one side of the body
  • Vertigo (a sense of spinning) or dizziness
  • Lack of coordination of the arms or legs, problems with balance, problems walking, and falling
  • Slurred speech
  • In some cases, a person may develop incontinence or even an inability to empty their bladder.
  • As the condition progresses, some people are left with muscle spasticity, or an involuntary painful contraction of certain muscles.


Treatment

There is no such treatment for MS.Present treatment include tacking the symptoms by giving autoimmune drugs which can suppress immune system. Some of the drugs include-

  • Corticosteroids - these drugs reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. These are the are the most commonly prescribed drugs for MS patients.
  • Interferon Beta 1a or 1b - These medicines are used to slow down the adverse symptoms of MS.but,these drugs have side effect such as liver damage.
  • Copaxone (Glatiramer) - this drug is aimed at stopping the immune system from attacking myelin sheath.The drug is injected,shortnesss of breath can be experienced after the injection. These drug also has severe side effects of heart disease and severe liver damage.
  • Tysabri (Natalizumab) -used in patients who either cannot tolerate other treatments or did not experience any benefits from them. It increases the patient's chances of developing multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a fatal brain infection.
  • Mitoxantrone (Novantrone) - usually used only for patients with advanced multiple sclerosis. It is an immunosuppressant medication that can damage the heart. For MS patients whose illness is rapidly progressing and getting worse despite other therapies, Novantrone can help slow down the progression of disability.

Risk factors:

  • It is more common among people aged from 20 to 50 years.
  • More women develop MS than men. It is likely to be 3 times more.
  • People of European descent are more likely to develop MS, compared with other people. However, people of all ancestries can get it.
  • Having genetic disorder associated with immune system have more chance of getting MS.
  • Presence of family history can increase the chance of MS.
  • Multiple sclerosis rates are higher in individuals living further away from the equator.

Cause of MS:

No such specific cause is known yet for MS. But issues such as genetic factors, hereditary history and person living far away from sunlight and in European geographical location has more possibility to get MS.

Diagnosis of MS:

Symptoms of MS can be often mistreated with other disease so history of the patient with certain symptoms is important for the doctor. There is no blood test which can confirm MS.Doctors go for multiple test to know for MS. They are-

  • Neurological exam: to look for the injury in central nervous system(either brain or spinal cord).Or to check for impaired nerve function.
  • Eye exam: a series of tests to evaluate the vision and check for eye diseases
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)and CT-scan: Ct-scan can show the injury or any damage in brain but would not be accurate for spinal cord.So,MRI is done which make cross-sectional images of brain and spinal cord using high magnetic field.
  • spinal tap (also called a lumbar puncture): a test involving a long needle that's inserted into the spine to remove a sample of fluid circulating around your brain and spinal cord

MS can vary in its way too affect progress and show symptoms. Some MS attack can last for few weeks and then disappear but it can further come back in more adverse and progressive way and with different symptoms, which is in most cases mistreated with different symptoms or diseases.

Rehabilitation for MS-

As there is no known MS treatment, certain therapies improve the ability and maintain their motivation to perform good and effective work in home and workplace. Certain therapies include-

  • Physical therapy - Provide skills to maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability.
  • Occupational therapy - The therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play activities to increase development and prevent disability.
  • Speech and swallowing therapy - Skills by professionals to help people with certain speech and swallowing disorder to help them improve their condition.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation - Assists in the management of specific problems in thinking and perception.
  • Vocational rehabilitation - helps people with disabilities make career plans, learn job skills, get and keep a job.

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