What does multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is an autoimmune disease. The exact cause of the disease is not yet known. A fatty substance called myelin surround and protects nerve fibers present in the central nervous system. This fatty substance gets attacked by mistake by the immune system in the body.
Why do people get multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis disrupts the myelin responsible for protecting and insulating the nerve cells of the brain and spinal nerve cells, thus causing a condition called demyelination. Women between the ages of 15 to 60 years generally are at risk of getting the disease. In fact, as compared to men, women are at risk at about 2-3 times more.
Depending upon places where nerves get demyelinated, the signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis will vary. Vision loss or double vision, numbness, tingling and twitching pain or numbness in certain body areas, are some of the visual changes that take place in the person. The other early signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis include sexual issues in women and men, stool leakage, constipation, discomfort in the eyes, coordination problems difficulty in walking and muscle problems.
Multiple sclerosis is of four types including RRMS – Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, SPMS – Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, PPMS – Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and PRMS – Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis.
To diagnose MS there is no one single test. A number of tests like lumbar puncture, MRI, physical examination, history of the patient and other tests may be done for ruling out the disease.
Options for treatment include Dimethyl Fumarate, IV steroids, Glatiramer acetate, and Interferon injections. Depending upon symptoms of the patient, other kinds of treatment is administered. To develop new medications, modification of immune system etc, research is ongoing.
Both environmental factors like sun exposure and geographical location, smoking, diet choices, and genetic factors contribute to the development of this disease. Research indicates that it is difficult to prevent Multiple Sclerosis, at least not yet. Effective measures for prevention are to be yet developed.