An introduction to multiple sclerosis

Category: Health & Fitness 5 0

Multiple sclerosis is a disease related to brain and spinal cord. In this disease the protective sheath that protects the nerves and fibers are attacked and communication channel between your brain and the rest of the body is disrupted. These can lead to the continued deterioration and permanent damage of your nerves.

Signs and symptoms

Damage of nerves are the reason for the signs and symptoms shown by the patient. Some people with this disease have lost their ability to walk. Others experience periods of remission without any symptoms. There exists no treatments or therapeutic methods for curing this disease.

There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatment can be helpful for speedy recovery. They also help in managing the symptoms and the course of the disease.

Symptoms of sclerosis

The symptoms and signs of this disorder vary from person to person. It is also dependent upon the affected nerves and its location. These include:

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the legs or body or the trunk.
  • Prolonged double vision
  • Electric shock sensations in certain neck movements
  • Tingling pain on some parts of the body
  • Unsteady gait
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Bowel and bladder problems

Diagnosis

There are no prescribed tests for diagnosing this disease. Only healthcare professionals or doctors can prescribe the tests to be conducted for diagnosing the existence of this disease. They study the medical history of the patient, examine his body’s physical condition and prescribe tests like MRI magnetic resonance imaging, evoked potential testing which determines the speed of nerves and lumbar puncture etc. to study and understand the reason for the disease. Other tests are also sometimes prescribed to test the existence of other possible conditions.

Disease description

For most people multiple sclerosis is a relapsing-remitting disease. People feel new symptoms and periods of remittance or relapses for days or weeks and during this period the symptoms .improve partially or fully. This is often followed by periods of remission that may last for months together or years at a stretch. Sometimes the patient may feel temperature for some time and can worsen symptoms and signs, but these need not be considered as relapses.

A good percentage of people with relapsing MS eventually experience the progression of symptoms known as secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis.  Some patients experience mild onset and steady progression of symptoms without any relapse. This is primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Causes: causes of this disease are unknown.  So, doctors consider this disease as an autoimmune disease where body’s immune system tries to attack its own tissues. This can result in the destruction of myelin which is a fatty substance that protects the nerve fibers of the spinal cord and the brain. Myelin is similar to the insulation in electrical wires.  When protective myelin is damaged the security of the nerve is compromised.  The nerves may get damaged. It is not clear why multiple sclerosis is developed in some people and why some are left untouched. Genetic factors as well as environmental factors can be the responsible for this.

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