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Multiple sclerosis: What you need to know



Multiple sclerosis: What you need to know

Multiple sclerosis: What you need to know

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system: the brain, intestines, and nerves. It produces various symptoms throughout the body.

It is impossible to predict how multiple sclerosis (MS) will develop in a person.

Some people experience mild symptoms such as blurred vision, numbness, and tingling in the arms and legs. In severe cases, individuals may experience paralysis, vision loss, and reduced mobility.

It is difficult to keep track of how many people have multiple sclerosis. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), between 250,000 and 350,000 people in the United States have MS.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that number could be closer to a million.

New treatments have proven effective in reducing the disease.


What is MS?

Scientists do not know exactly what causes multiple sclerosis, but they think it is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the same way it attacks viruses and bacteria.

In multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve fibers, causing inflammation. Myelin allows nerves to transmit electrical signals quickly and efficiently.

Multiple sclerosis means “multiple sclerosis.”

When the myelin sheath is lost or damaged in some areas, lesions or sclerosis remain.

  • Brain tumor
  • Spinal cord
  • optic nerve
  • white matter and parts of the brain

As more lesions develop, the tendon can be broken or damaged. As a result, electrical impulses from the brain are less likely to reach their target nerves. This means that the body cannot do certain things.

There are four types of MS:


Clinically isolated disease (CIS): This is the beginning of the symptoms that last at least 24 hours. If another event later, the doctor can diagnose the recurrence of multiple sclerosis.

About 85% of MS patients are initially diagnosed with RRMS. In RRMS, the presentation of new or worsening symptoms is followed by partial or complete remission.

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS): symptoms gradually worsen without initial relapse or remission. Some people may experience periods of stability and periods of worsening and improvement of symptoms. About 15% of people with MS have PPMS.

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS): Initially relapsing and in remission, but the disease progresses.

Early signs and symptoms

Because multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system, which controls everything in the body, symptoms can affect any part of the body.


The most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis are:

Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness can be caused by reduced use or stimulation from muscle damage.

numbness and tingling. Tingling is one of the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis and can affect the face, body, arms and legs.

Lharmit’s sign: You get an electric shock when you move your neck, known as Lharmit’s sign.

Bowel problems: You may have difficulty emptying your bowels or need to urinate frequently or suddenly, a condition known as stress incontinence. Loss of bowel control is the first symptom of multiple sclerosis.


Bowel Problems: Constipation can cause bowel obstruction and bowel obstruction.

Fatigue: This can impair your ability to function at work and at home and is one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Vertigo and vertigo: These are common problems associated with balance and coordination problems.

Sexual Impotence: Both men and women can lose interest in sex.

Spasms and muscle spasms: These are early symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Damage to the nerves in the spinal cord and brain can cause nerve pain, such as in the legs.


Less common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • hearing loss
  • Itch
  • Shortness of breath or breathing problems
  • attacks
  • speech impediment
  • swallowing problems

They also have a higher risk of urinary tract infections, decreased activity and lack of movement. This can affect a person’s work and social life.

In later stages, people may experience changes in perception and thinking, such as sensitivity to heat.

MS affects people differently. For some, it starts as a subtle sensation and goes unnoticed for months or years. Symptoms sometimes get worse quickly over weeks or months.

Causes and risk factors

Scientists aren’t sure what causes MS, but risk factors include:

Age: Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.


Gender: Most cases of multiple sclerosis are twice as common in women as in men.

Genetic Factors: Although susceptibility to the disease can be passed down to genes, scientists believe that environmental factors are necessary for the development of MS, even in people with certain genetic characteristics.

Smoking: Smokers are more likely to develop MS. They tend to have more brain damage and shrinkage than non-smokers.

Infection: Exposure to viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or mononucleosis may increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, but studies have not shown a clear association. Other viruses that may play a role include human herpes virus type 6 (HHV6) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Vitamin D deficiency: MS is more common in people who receive less sunlight, which the body needs to make vitamin D. Some experts believe that low levels of vitamin D can affect immune system function.


Vitamin B12 deficiency: The body uses B vitamins to make myelin. A deficiency in this vitamin can increase the risk of developing neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Previous theories have included canine illness, physical trauma or the artificial sweetener aspartame, but there is no evidence to support them. There is often no single cause of MS and many factors contribute to its onset.


Doctors perform a physical and neurological exam, ask about symptoms, and review a person’s medical history.

Because there is no single test that can confirm a diagnosis, doctors use a variety of strategies to determine whether or not a person meets the criteria for a diagnosis.


  • MRI of the brain and spinal cord, which can show abnormalities
  • analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, which can identify antibodies representing past infection or proteins consistent with the diagnosis of MS
  • Evoked voltage test, which measures electrical activity in response to stimuli

Because other conditions have similar symptoms to MS, your doctor may recommend other tests to evaluate other possible causes of your symptoms.

When a doctor diagnoses multiple sclerosis, he needs to know what type it is and whether or not it is active. The person may need more tests in the future to check for other changes.


Multiple sclerosis has no cure, but there are treatments that can slow the progression of the disease, reduce the number and severity of relapses, and alleviate symptoms.

Some people also use complementary and alternative therapies, but research doesn’t always support their benefits.

Treatment options include:

  • Medications that slow down progression
  • injection
  • Oral
  • spilled medication


Multiple sclerosis is a potentially serious disease that affects the nervous system. As the progression of multiple sclerosis varies from person to person, it is difficult to predict how it will proceed, but most people never develop a serious disability.

In recent years, scientists have made rapid progress in developing drugs and treatments for multiple sclerosis. Newer drugs are safer, more effective, and offer great hope for slowing the progression of the disease.


As researchers learn more about the genetic characteristics and changes that occur in multiple sclerosis, it is hoped that they will be able to easily predict and identify the type of multiple sclerosis a person has.

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