What Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

What Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
May 24 10:48 2016 by admin Print This Article

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Being a chronic disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) damages the nerves in the spinal cord, brain, and the optic nerves. Sclerosis refers to scarring, and people with this disease get multiple areas of scar tissue as a result of the nerve damage. As per the location of the damage, symptoms may include problems with muscle control, balance, vision, or speech.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

There are a broad range of symptoms that are experienced by people who suffer from MS. It can vary from person to person, and the disease can rapidly change and evolve.It can manifest different symptoms, and the severity can change from day to day. The two most common symptoms of MS are:

Fatigue and Weakness

People with MS suffer from damaged nerves. Nerves are the routes through which all messages are delivered to and from different body parts for routine functions. When the nerves are damaged, it takes more energy to send and deliver messages. This can cause a build-up of fatigue.

Walking Difficulty

MS causes gait problems which can occur due to:-

• Weakness in leg
• Numbness
• Loss of balance
• Muscle spasms
• Vision problems

These symptoms may lead to frequent tripping or difficulty in walking.

More than half of people with MS experience a vision problem called Optic Neuritis. This inflammation of the optic nerve may cause blurred vision, loss of color vision, eye pain, or blindness, usually in one eye. The problem is usually temporary and tends to improve within a few weeks. In many cases, vision problems are the first sign of MS.

Multiple Scelerosis is a chronic disease that damages the nerves in the spinal cord and brain, as well as the optic nerves. Sclerosis means scarring, and people with MS develop multiple areas of scar tissue in response to the nerve damage. Depending on where the damage occurs, symptoms may include problems with muscle control, balance, vision, or speech.

Optic Neuritis

More than half of people with MS experience a vision problem called optic neuritis. This inflammation of the optic nerve may cause blurred vision, loss of colour vision, eye pain, or blindness, usually in one eye. The problem is usually temporary and tends to improve within a few weeks. In many cases, vision problems are the first sign of MS.

Acute or Chronic Pain

The nerves that carry signals to the brain from the different parts of the body are damaged for people with MS. This causes a kind of short circuit of the nerves. They start sending signals of pain sensations that are not actually present. It is common for people with MS to have sudden pain sensations that can manifest as burning, stabbing, sharp pain, and squeezing sensations.

Tremors

The tremors and twitching that occur to people with MS are caused by damage to the nerves., It can be slight enough to be mildly annoying, or it can be severe enough to compromise quality of life. It can occur as twitches, shaking, trembling, spasms, etc, in the head, hands, and feet.

Cognition Issues

Cognitive problems are common in MS and can cause issues like memory loss, difficulty in concentrating, mental confusion, short attention span, and difficulty in decision-making. Problems with thinking and memory affect around half of all people with MS.

How is MS diagnosed?

There are several tests that the doctor will do to diagnose MS. These include:-

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – This allows the doctor to detect active and inactive lesions throughout the brain and spinal cord.

OCT (optical coherence tomography)–This test displays nerve layers in the back of the eye with which the doctor can assess the thinning of the optic nerve.

Spinal tap – Testing the spinal fluid can help in locating oligoclonal bands (OCBs), which are used to diagnose MS.
Blood tests – This will help the doctors eliminate other conditions with similar symptoms.

VEP (Visual-evoked potentials) test – Stimulating nerve pathways helps the doctor assess electrical activity in the brain, which can help diagnose MS.

Living with MS

There is no present cure for multiple sclerosis, but a good brain doctor can help the patient tackle the disease as effectively as possible with a combination of treatment and lifestyle modifications. MS is a chronic condition which requires the support of family, friends, and a good medical team.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe
    September 20, 15:25 #1 Joe

    Detailed information about multiple sclerosis. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to this comment

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