Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Description of Multiple sclerosis (MS)

This is a disease that leads to recurring attacks of neurological symptoms. This deterioration in nervous function is related to demyelination, which is damage of the myelin sheath which helps electrical impulses to conduct quickly and efficiently down an axon’s length.
Causes and Risk Factors
Underlying causes are yet to be pinpointed. Common causes are:
1. Autoimmune attack on myelin producing cells
2. Environmental factors
3. Genetic factors
4. Other factors such as virus as well as hormonal activity are also suspected to be the common cause
Signs and Symptoms

Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms are hard to generalize since every patient is affected differently. The common symptoms are:
1. Sensory related -- which include numbness, pain, and tingling
2. Motor related -- weakness in limbs, tremors, facial paralysis, spasticity, and muscle spasm
3. Coordination and balance -- lack of fine motor/gross motor coordination, clumsiness, and difficulty in walking
4. Slurry speech
5. Blurry vision or blindness
6. Nonspecific symptoms include fatigue, heat sensitivity, impaired thinking, and dizziness
A thorough neurological examination and good medical history help the doctor to identify the aspects that are consistent with MS.
1. MRI: It helps to identify, describe, and in some instances date lesions in the brain.
2. There are no blood tests to diagnose MS. However, blood tests may be done to rule out Lyme disease, HIV, some rare genetic disorders, and collagen-vascular diseases.
Treatment is aimed at improving quality of life by:
1. Minimizing symptom severity
2. Treating the symptoms
3. Slowing down disease progression
4. Preventing attacks
Content Details
Last updated on:
04 Sep 2017 | 04:16 PM (IST)
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Frequently Asked Questions about Multiple sclerosis (MS)

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