What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks myelin (the fatty substance that insulates and surrounds nerve fibers). The damaged myelin forms scar tissue which is called sclerosis, which is where the disease gets it's name.
What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are unpredictable. No two people will have exactly the same symptoms, and the symptoms can change over time.
These are some of the most common symptoms
- Fatigue (occurs in 80% of people and can affect with the ability to function at home or work)
- Numbness or Tingling (Numbness of the face, body, or arms and legs is often the first symptom experienced)
- Vision Problems (Blurred vision, pain on eye movement)
- Depression (Clinical depression is more common among people with MS than it is in the general population)
These are some of the least common symptoms
- Speech Problems (Slurring and loss of volume)
- Tremor (Uncontrollable shaking, can occur in various parts of the body because of damaged areas along the complex nerve pathways that are responsible for coordination of movements)
- Seizures (Result of abnormal electrical discharges in scarred area of the myelin)
- Swallowing Problems (Result from damage to the nerves controlling the many small muscles in the mouth and throat)
What causes Multiple Sclerosis?
The causes of Multiple Sclerosis is unknown. But, if you had a sibling or parent with the disorder your chances of getting it are slightly higher (2-5 percent more likely)
What are treatments of Multiple Sclerosis?
There is no cure for MS. Treatment focuses on speeding recovery form attacks, slowing the progression of the disorder, and managing the symptoms.
Treatments for MS
- Corticosteroids, such as oral prednisone and intravenous methylprednisolone, are prescribed to reduce nerve inflammation
- Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), this medication may help block your immune system's attack on myelin
- Muscle relaxants to help with uncontrollable muscle stiffness
- Medications to reduce fatigue
- Medication may also be supplied to help with depression
My dad had MS and eventually died from it 2 years ago. The cause on how he got the disorder is unknown. It is hard living with MS because there isn't much known about the disorder. The disorder is unpredictable which means you do not know when a symptom might develop. Depending on your symptoms you might be in pain daily, it is an awful disorder to contract. It changes how you live your life.