Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological ailment that causes an inflammatory condition in the central nervous system. This disease results in malfunctioning of the body's nervous cells (neurons), because of destruction of myelin, an element that surrounds the neurons. Myelin is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system, as it facilitates the transmission of information amongst neurons.

Once the nervous cells' myelin-having membrane is damaged, the innervated cells of the whole body can be severely affected. Due to elimination of myelin, multiple sclerosis can result in dysfunctions of the sensorial, musculoskeletal, and cognitive systems. This disease can often affect the functions of the internal organs (gastrointestinal tract, kidneys). People suffering from multiple sclerosis can manifest neuropsychological conditions, such as mania, depression, or dementia.

Statistics on Multiple Sclerosis Incidence

  • As discovered by statistics, there are almost 2 million people suffering from this disease across the world, and their numbers are consistently increasing.
  • In the United States itself, there are approximately 350,000 cases of multiple sclerosis have been reported.
  • It is noticed that this disease tends to affect young people mainly.
  • Although this ailment can also be witnessed by the elderly, the disease is prominently found in people with ages from 20 to 40.
  • Another dramatic aspect of this disease is that it is most of the time found in women and rarely seen in the opposite sex.

Effects of Multiple Sclerosis

  • It causes an inflammatory condition in the nervous system, causing a destruction of myelin, a very prominent element that surrounds the nervous cells of the body.
  • Myelin has a vital role in the dissemination of nervous impulses between neurons, establishing connectivity between the central nervous system and the rest of the body.
  • When myelin is destructed, the communication of electrical impulses between nervous cells is frustrated, comprehensibly cutting down the body's response to external stimulation.
  • Destruction of myelin can result in serious dysfunctions of the nervous system, causing several abnormal neuropsychological demonstrations.

Causes and Factors of Risk

The actual reason of this ailment is not clear. Medical scientists believe that environmental and genetic both the factors are responsible for the development of this condition.

  • It crop up on the background of genetic predispositions, stirred by environmental factors.
  • Nevertheless, this reason hasn't been proven; viral infections are also believed to facilitate the development of such neurological disease.
  • It has hereditary in nature and the genetic propensity this kind of disease can be passed on from one generation to another.
  • Certain environmental components such as stress, warm climate, lack of sleep, are also the factors contributing to the increase in risks of developing multiple sclerosis.

Symptoms

  • The most common signs of multiple sclerosis are: inflammation, muscle pain, numbness; fatigue; poor body mobility; weakness; poorly coordinated moves; poor vision.
  • Typical neuropsychological symptoms of this disease are lack of concentration; deteriorating mental performance; short-term memory loss.
  • In advances cases, it can also lead to dementia, depression, and mania.
  • Another common feature noticed in people suffering from multiple sclerosis is depression.
  • Statistics signals that more than 75 percent of people having this disease are also prey to depression.

Diagnosis

  • Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed upon comprehensive physical and neuropsychological check ups, along with particular laboratory tests and medical procedures.
  • Common ways of interpreting it are lumbar puncture and MRI scans, methods which can reveal possible damage of myelin.
  • It is identified based on several criteria.
  • External symptoms of the disease are not enough in diagnosing patients with this disease.
  • Hence, the process of diagnosing generally involves examination of the nervous cells' integrity, blood tests and an intense study of patients' neurological reflections.

Treatment Options

  • Its medical treatments are generally personalized keeping in view the patients' experienced symptoms.
  • Its treatments normally involve the use of beta interferon, corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • These medications can assuage physical symptoms generated by it and also cease their recurrence.
  • When the ailment attacks the cognitive activities of the body, generally suggested medications involve Central Nervous System Stimulants and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
  • Once patients are detected with this disease, they are suggested appropriate medication.
  • After undergoing medical treatments, lifestyle changes and specific therapies are suggested. Individual who suffer from multiple sclerosis can steadily experience an improvement in their symptoms.
  • Appropriate diet, minimal stress conditions, and healthy sleep patterns immensely contribute to an amelioration of the overall condition of people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
  • If it is detected on time, the therapies and medications available today can cover the damage done at the level of the nervous system and individuals with the ailment can be entirely recovered from the disease.

Therapy

  • Drugs-free therapy for multiple sclerosis facilitates the physical alleviation of patients.
  • As most signs of multiple sclerosis are perceived at the level of the musculoskeletal system, exercise is a successful treatment which is very influential in relieving numbness, muscle pain, and weakness.

If multiple sclerosis is not treated properly, it can catapult over the years, resulting in irreversible damage to the entire nervous system and organs.