World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2020: Everything About This Nervous System Destroyer By Dr Madhuri Behari

Updated at: May 29, 2020
World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2020: Everything About This Nervous System Destroyer By Dr Madhuri Behari

Who does Multiple Sclerosis affect more? MS generally affects young people, usually women more than men, generally in the late 20s and early 30s.

Tavishi Dogra
Other DiseasesWritten by: Tavishi DograPublished at: May 29, 2020

What is MS? Multiple sclerosis as the name suggests is sclerosis or Fibrosis of many (various) areas in the brain due to inflammation and subsequent healing leading to scar formation ( fibrosis). Due to the scar in mind, there is a loss of function of that part of the brain. For example, that part controls balance then the patient complains of imbalance and so on. It is essential also to tell the types of MS. There are variorum types of MS: (a)Clinically Isolated syndrome CIS (b) Relapsing and remitting g MS RRMS (c) Primary Progressive MS PPMS (d) Secondary Progressive MS SPMS. The most conventional type is RRMS in which the patient experiences several attacks of MS. When the patient has his/ her first episode, and the doctor is very sure but wants to be on the safe side because nothing is 100% in medicine, they call it CIS. Sometimes the clinical course it like steadily and slowly increasing symptoms caused by multiple conglomerate lesions right from the beginning we call it PPMS. When the symptoms start as PPMS but over a while, they take the course of progressive disease, it is called SPMS.

Multiple Sclerosis Causes By Dr Madhuri Behari, Professor & Head, Department of Neurology, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj: The cause of Ms is unclear, but it is supposed to be due to the formation of antibodies against the myelin sheath in the brain. Myelin sheath is the insulating substance present around every nerve fibres. The antibodies cause inflammation and swelling, leading to the problem.

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Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

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The symptoms are variable depending on the part of the brain affected. But the common symptoms are double visions, imbalance and blurring or loss of sight of one or both eyes. Other symptoms that may occur are the weakness of entire one side of the body, deficiency of both lower limbs or all four limbs, inability to control urine and stool, and sometimes there is numbness of a body part an arm or a leg. These symptoms usually start in a day and are complete in a day or usually within 4-5 days. If not treated, they remain as such or improve partially over time.

Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis Explained By Dr Madhuri Behari

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For diagnosis, doctors require a proper history regarding the development of symptoms and how many times the patient had had these many symptoms. The second step is to do an MRI scan of the brain or spinal cord or both, VEP and BAER to look for involvement of other areas of the brain such as eye and its connecting nerves, and hearing apparatus. Besides, it is required to rule out other illnesses that mimic MS. Hence doctors may want to do tests for vasculitis, NMO and others. Because the most common form is RRMS, the doctor must show that the lesions in the brain and spinal cord have occurred over several times and not all together and that these are scattered in the brain and spinal cord distant from each other.

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Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

The treatment is, therefore, two-fold; (a) acute Phase in which medicine is provided in the acute phase when the symptoms occur say within 1-2 days. (b) The other is preventive, which will be covered later. The preventive treatment is given to a diagnosed patient of MS to prevent the occurrence of more attacks. Generally, in the acute phase, doctors give high dose steroids for 4-8 weeks depending on the severity and preference of doctor along with supportive medications.

Multiple Sclerosis Prevention, Management By Dr Madhuri Behari

There are many medications for preventive treatment. But these are meant for the diagnosed patient of MS to reduce the number of MS attacks. They are not intended for ordinary people. Besides, physiotherapy, morale-boosting and use of a healthy diet are essential. There are man options for preventive therapy. There are some which have to be injected; some need to be taken orally. In the injections also some have to be given daily other alternate days, some once a week and others once a month. Some newer ones need to be given just three injections over a year. There are many options which can be decided in consultation with the doctor. One lifestyle change that needs to be followed is to avoid the heat, hot conditions, hot weather,  warm water baths

Who does Multiple Sclerosis affect more – men, women, younger or older generations? MS generally affects young people, usually women more than men, generally in the late 20s and early 30s. But that does not mean it does not affect children and older people.

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