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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Posted By: Cindy S.

Category: Health

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease affecting the spinal cord and brain. It is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 and is found in more women than men. However, both men and women can be affected and it can be diagnosed at any age. The cause of MS multiple sclerosis is unknown, but occurs when there is damage to the protective covering surrounding nerve cells, call the myelin sheath. This damage causes the signals the nerves send to become slowed or stopped entirely. Though no one knows what, exactly, causes this damage to the myelin sheath, several theories exist, including genetic defect, a virus, or a combination of both. Some also think environment plays a role, since sclerosis multiple is more common in certain areas of the country.

MS symptoms vary by individual and by attack, with location and severity differing each time. An MS episode can last anywhere from a few days to months at a time, and are often followed by periods of inactivity, where no symptoms are present. There are certain triggers that may cause or intensify attacks of MS, including illness with fever, exposure to sun, high stress levels, or hot baths. Avoiding triggers can help lessen the frequency of attacks and the severity of symptoms. In some cases, MS will continue to worsen with no remission period. Common MS symptoms include:

  • Numbness, weakness, or tremors in the arms or legs
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty walking or moving the arms and legs
  • Decline in coordination or fine-motor skills
  • Bowel issues, including constipation or leakage of stool
  • Trouble urinating or frequent, strong need to urinate
  • Incontinence
  • Eye problems, including discomfort, uncontrollable eye movement, vision loss, or double vision
  • Pain in the face, muscle spasms, tingling sensations, or burning sensations in arms and legs
  • Mental symptoms, including decreased attention span, memory loss, reckless behavior
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of hearing
  • Fatigue

These symptoms should be brought to the attention of a doctor right away so proper diagnosis can be made. While there is no cure for MS, there are treatment options available. Additionally, multiple sclerosis news shows great progress in the search for a cause and a cure for MS, and it is hoped that one day a cure will be found.  Currently, however, treatment is focused on slowing the progress of the disease and relieving symptoms during an active attack. While MS is considered a lifelong, chronic illness, life expectancy is usually not affected. 

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