Multiple Sclerosis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, M.D.,

Overview

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the condition where the nerve is damaged due to autoimmune disease where our immune system damaged the myelin sheath of the nerves that resulted in blocked or no communication with the rest part of the body.

Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system and spinal cord that leads to the inability of walking, muscle loss and numbness and finally the disease may cause permanent damage to nerves or deterioration of the nerves.

Symptoms of MS vary depending on the level of damage that happened to the nerves and the location of the nerves. Some of the people may face an inability to walk, loss of memory, lack of eyes coordination etc depending upon the nerve damage but some patient may not face any problem.

What are the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The symptoms of MS can be varied from the extent of the disease. It depends upon the location of the nerve affected. It shows a wide range of symptoms and can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are related to movement but other symptoms may also be seen.

Numbness and weakness in both limbs. Unable to walk or inability to perform day to day tasks of life.

Also, electric shock type sensation while movements of the neck especially bending neck in forwarding side. Also, the patient may feel fatigued. it is common in patients who have been suffering from MS. Muscle weakness, difficulty in balancing and eyesight blur are the main symptoms of MS.

MS symptoms may also includes:

Dizziness

Fatigue

Lack of eye co-ordination

Speech problem

Dizziness

Double Vision

Chronic pain

Unable to recognize people

Tremors

Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

Your doctor will clinically check you to diagnose the disease. He may need to do a neurological exam. They will ask to do certain tests to make the diagnosis correctly. These tests are as follows:

MRI Scan- Your doctor or neurologist will recommend you to go for a contrast MRI where the radiologist will inject contrast material in your vein and then he will perform MRI test. By doing this your doctor may easily find the active and inactive lesion of the spinal cord and nerves.

Lumbar Puncture- By doing a lumbar puncture your doctor will examine the spinal fluid and find any anomalies in the spinal fluid which may lead to MS. This test also rules out infections.

Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Currently, there is no permanent cure for MS but there are certain medications available to check the progression of the disease. These medicines are as follows:

Glatiramer

Cladribine

Dimethyl Fumarate

Fingolimod

Ozanimod

Teriflunomide

Alemtuzumab (I.V.)

Ocrelizumab (I.V.)

Types of MS

Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS)

CIS is a pre ms condition where the symptoms of MS lasts 24 hrs at least. These symptoms are due to demyelination in your nervous system. Demyelination refers to a condition where the nerves prevent sending signals efficiently.

Relapsing Remitting MS

RRMS involves a clear relapse of the disease after the remissions. During remission, stage symptoms are mild and gradually relapses to mild to moderate. This condition is found in nearly 85 per cent of patients suffering from MS.

Primary Progressive MS

In this condition your neurological symptoms getting worse from the onset of the symptoms. The disease progresses very fast.

Secondary Progressive MS

SPMS occurs when RRMS transitions into the progressive form.

Causes of MS

The main cause of multiple sclerosis is when our immune system attacks the nerves then the myelin sheath is damaged which resulted in nerve damage. It is a kind of autoimmune disease affecting the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves. Most people think that this is hereditary but it is not. This disease is more common in women than men.

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