Multiple Sclerosis - Symptoms & Treatment
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). Multiple sclerosis is widely believed to be an autoimmune disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks components of your body as if they're foreign. This process is followed by destruction of myelin the fatty covering that insulates nerve cell fibers in the brain and spinal cord. MS can cause a variety of symptoms , including changes in sensation visual problems, muscle weakness, depression , difficulties with coordination and speech, severe fatigue, and pain. Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40; the initial symptom of MS is often blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. Some may also experience pain. Speech impediments, tremors, and dizziness are other frequent complaints. Occasionally, people with MS have hearing loss. Multiple sclerosis affects an estimated 300,000 people in the United States and probably more than 1 million people around the world including twice as many women as men. In some people, multiple sclerosis is a mild illness, but it can lead to permanent disability in others. Treatments can modify the course of the disease and relieve symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis affects neurons , the cells of the brain and spinal cord that carry information, create thought and perception, and allow the brain to control the body. This results in inflammation and injury to the sheath and ultimately to the nerves that it surrounds. Eventually, this damage can slow or block the nerve signals that control muscle coordination, strength, sensation and vision. Because different nerves are affected at different times, MS symptoms often worsen (exacerbate), improve, and develop in different areas of the body. Early symptoms of the disorder may include vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, blind spots) and muscle weakness. Myelin facilitates the smooth, high-speed transmission of electrochemical messages between the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the body; when it is damaged, neurological transmission of messages may be slowed or blocked completely, leading to diminished or lost function. The name "multiple sclerosis" signifies both the number (multiple) and condition (sclerosis, from the Greek term for scarring or hardening) of the demyelinated areas in the central nervous system.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
The common Causes of Multiple Sclerosis :
- The precise cause of MS is unknown but it is thought to have several different "causes" because the evidence suggests that there are both genetic (inherited) and environmental factors.
- Geography seems to be a factor as the number of people in the population with MS increases with distance from the equator.
- This nerve causes the muscles in your arm to contract, pulling your hand away from the heat.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Some Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis :
- Weakness of one or more extremities
- Fatigue ,
- Loss of vision
- Muscle spasticity
- Movement, dysfunctional
- Double vision
- Eye symptoms worsen on movement of the eyes
- Muscle spasms (especially in the legs)
- Difficulty speaking
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
- Physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and support groups can help improve the person's outlook, reduce depression, maximize function, and improve coping skills.
- Planned exercise program early in the course of the disorder can help maintain muscle tone.
- Lioresal (Baclofen), tizanidine (Zanaflex), or a benzodiazepine may be used to reduce muscle spasticity.
- Antidepressants for mood or behavior symptoms.
- Cholinergic medications to reduce urinary problems.
- Other treatments are focused on managing specific symptoms of the disease, such as bladder problems or fatigue.