Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease wherein the insulating covers of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. It causes a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
Multiple Sclerosis symptoms include
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision
- Problems controlling the bladder
- Muscle stiffness and spasms
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
- Difficulty walking
- Problems with thinking, learning and planning
The symptoms depend on the type of the multiple sclerosis the patient has, symptoms may come and go in phases or gradually get worse over time.
Diagnosing multiple sclerosis is complicated since there is no single test that can positively diagnose it. Other possible causes of your symptoms may need to be ruled out first.
Some tests that can be done to confirm multiple sclerosis are;
- Neurological Examination
- MRI scan
- Evoked Potential Test
- Lumbar Puncture
- Blood Tests
After diagnosing multiple sclerosis, the neurologist may be able to identify the type of multiple sclerosis the patient has.
Multiple Sclerosis has types identified by the pattern of the symptoms and the results of an MRI can.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
- Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis – people diagnosed with this will have episodes of new or worsening symptoms, known as relapses which typically worsens over a few days and last for days to weeks or months then slowly improve over a similar time period.
- Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis – this type of MS gradually worsen and accumulate over several years and there are no periods of remission.
Several treatments have been discovered to help control the condition. The treatments depend on the specific symptoms the patient has.
- Treating relapses with short courses of steroid medicine to speed up recovery
- Treatment to reduce the number of relapses using medicines called disease-modifying therapies
- Specific treatments for individual multiple sclerosis symptoms
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