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What is Multiple Sclerosis by Melissa Ziegler

By at June 16, 2014 | 12:29 pm | Print

While there are many different forms of autoimmune disorders, Multiple sclerosis can often be the most frustrating one. Multiple sclerosis causes the bodies immune systems to consume the myelin, a protective covering on a bodies nerves. With extensive damage done to myelin, it causes many communication problems between vital parts of one’s body. Those parts can be the brain or spinal cord and because of this, deterioration of nerves is non-reversible. Multiple sclerosis has no cure but treatments are available to help avoid attacks and manage the progression of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis has many different symptoms and can vary from person to person as to what symptoms can appear during the beginning stages or later progression from the disease. Most or all symptoms will affect the nerve fibers of the body depending of the location of them. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include: numbness or weakness of limbs, partial or complete loss of vision or pain during eye movement, blurred or double vision, tingling pains around the body, shocking sensations with specific head movements, tremors or lack of coordination, slurred speech, fatigue, bladder control problems, and dizziness. In some cases of multiple sclerosis, heat sensitivity can be a problem. Increases in body temperature can worsen the already present symptoms. Along with multiple sclerosis being attuned to the diseased, some might experience symptom relapses in the beginning stages of the disease which can be followed by an absence of all symptoms or a remission period. In few situations of having multiple sclerosis, conditions can remain stable and progression is limited after an attack.

Not all cases of multiple sclerosis is caused by genetics. There can be other contributors to the disease that include environment affects, viruses, and hormones. Other factors in having multiple sclerosis could be due to geological placement and ethnicity. More commonly, multiple sclerosis is seen in caucasians than in other racial groups. Geologically speaking, multiple sclerosis is seen more in parts of Scotland, Scandinavia, and northern Europe. Environment aspects of this disease is seen to be increased further from the equator rather than closer. There isn’t much research to explain why this happens but the number of cases of multiple sclerosis speaks for itself in the areas given. Genetics can play a role in developing multiple sclerosis as well. More likely than not, first, second and third relatives of people with multiple sclerosis have an increased chance of inheriting the disease. Siblings have a 2%-5% risk of inheriting the disease. Viruses being connected to the development of the disease is a relatively new suspicion among researchers. With little amounts of research to back up the belief, hepatitis vaccines, mononucleosis, and varicella zoster could be connected to the progression of multiple sclerosis. Hormone activity that includes estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, can act as suppressors to immune activity. It can also explain why pregnant women with multiple sclerosis have less symptoms and attacks with their hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone being much higher than normal.

There are many forms of treatment for multiple sclerosis. Most can be set up through a doctor or general practitioner and an appointment. It is recommended that any people with any symptoms write them down before visiting their doctor. It would also be important to remember any major life changes or any added stress that could magnify the symptoms more severely than they normally would be. Medications, supplements, or vitamins can also affect the present symptoms. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis can vary from therapeutic techniques to invasive procedures. Some therapeutic, non-invasive, treatments can include medications that modify the disease. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain in limbs and other parts of the body, and techniques to help control muscle spasms is also available. A popular invasive procedure includes deep brain stimulation that has been proven to be effective in controlling tremors. Along with some medications and treatments, there can be risks involved with this procedure. Life with multiple sclerosis doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Detailed research and advice from a professional like a neurologist can make life with the disease bearable and livable.

 

References

“MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Causes: Environment, Genetics, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.

“Multiple Sclerosis.” Definition. Mayo Clinic Staff, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.

“Multiple Sclerosis.” Preparing for Your Appointment. Mayo Clinic Staff, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

“Multiple Sclerosis.” Symptoms. Mayo Clinic Staff, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.

 

 

 

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