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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a crippling disease that effects the brain and spinal cord. It attacks the material that surrounds the nerve cells, called the myelin sheath
. This slows down the communication of the nerve cells, and in extreme cases it can completely block the communication rendering the victim completely crippled. Multiple Sclerosis can affect the person's muscles, nerves and senses.
MS is an autoimmune disease, this means that it occurs because the body is attacking itself.
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time. However, there are therapies that may slow the disease. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms and help you maintain a normal quality of life.
Symptoms vary, because the location and severity of each attack can be different. Episodes can last for days, weeks, or months. These episodes alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms (remissions). This makes it hard to diagnose at an early stage. Fever, hot baths, sun exposure, and stress can trigger or worsen attacks. It is common for the disease to return (relapse). However, the disease may continue to get worse without periods of remission.
Due to the fact that nerves in any part of the brain or spinal cord may be damaged, patients with multiple sclerosis can have symptoms in many parts of the body.
Loss of balance
or abnormal sensation in any area
Problems moving arms or legs
and making small movements
in one or more arms or legs
in one or more arms or legs
Bowel and bladder symptoms:
and stool leakage
Difficulty beginning to urinate
Frequent need to urinate
Strong urge to urinate
Urine leakage (
Uncontrollable rapid eye movements
(usually affects one eye at a time)
Numbness, tingling, or pain:
Tingling, crawling, or burning feeling in the arms and legs
Other brain and nerve symptoms:
Decreased attention span, poor judgment, and memory loss
Difficulty reasoning and solving problems
or feelings of sadness
and balance problems
Problems with erections
Problems with vaginal lubrication
Speech and swallowing symptoms:
Slurred or difficult-to-understand speech
Trouble chewing and swallowing
is a common and bothersome symptom and unfortunately as MS progresses it often worsens.
MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve impulses are slowed down or stopped. The nerve damage is caused by inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body's own immune cells attack the nervous system. Repeated episodes of inflammation can occur along any area of the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord.
Researchers are not sure what triggers the inflammation. The most common theories point to a virus or genetic defect, or a combination of both. Geographic studies indicate there may be an environmental factor involved. People with a family history of MS and those who live in a geographical area where MS is more common have a slightly higher risk of the disease.
More about Multiple Sclerosis
Auto Immune Disease
Nervous System Disease
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