MS disease, or multiple sclerosis, is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. It affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
The symptoms are quite variable. In mild cases, loss of sensation in the limbs may occur. In severe cases, paralysis and visual loss may occur.
It is not possible to predict how the MS will progress in any individual.
Women are 2-3 times more common than men and their diagnosis is usually between 20 and 50 years of age.
Basic Information About MS
Here are some basic information about multiple sclerosis:
- It affects the central nervous system.
- The diagnosis is usually between the ages of 20-50.
- It is impossible to predict how the disease progresses.
- Severe symptoms may include tingling and numbness, but severe symptoms include loss of vision and paralysis.
- There is no cure, but the treatment methods can alleviate symptoms and the person can continue his or her daily life.
What is MS?
MS affects the central nervous system, but it is not known exactly what it is.
There are myelin sheaths in the central nervous system that protect them in the periphery of nerve cells. Myelin also helps nerves deliver signals quickly and efficiently. In some areas of MS disease, myelin sheaths disappear and leave a scar or sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis means multiple scars.
Lesions and plaques appear in those areas when myelin is not present or is absent. As the lesions get worse, the nerve fibers can break down or become damaged. As a result, electrical signals from the brain do not go to the target nerve correctly.
When myelin is not present, the fibers do not transmit electrical currents. Messages cannot be transmitted from the brain to the muscles.
Types of MS
There are 4 types of MS:
Clinical isolated syndrome: This is a single and first seizure, symptoms continue for at least 24 hours.
Repetitive-remitting MS: This is the most common form and MS has an effect on 85% of people and has new, increasing symptom attacks.
Primary progressive MS: Symptoms progressively worsen; It is found in 15% of all cases.
Secondary progressive MS: The disease progresses regularly after the first seizure and recurrence.
MS affects the central nervous system, which controls all movements of the body. When the nerve fibers that carry the brain in and out messages are damaged, symptoms can occur anywhere in the body.
In some patients, the symptoms are so light that they do not notice anything until the later stages of the disease. Some of them may be aware of their symptoms from an early stage.
The main symptoms of MS are:
- muscle weakness
- visual distortions
- coordination and balance challenges
- numbness and tingling
- thinking and memory problems
Effects of MS
MS may cause:
Bladder problems: There may be problems emptying the bladder completely, there may be frequent urination and urinary incontinence.
Intestinal problems: Constipation can cause damage to the anus, and this may be difficult to maintain.
Fatigue: This affects 90% of patients and reduces their ability to function at home and work.
Drowsiness and vertigo: These common problems bring with them balance problems.
Sexual problems: Loss of interest in sexuality can occur in both men and women.
Spasticity and muscle spasms: Spinal cord and nerve fibers damaged in the brain may cause painful muscle spasms. Muscles can become stiff, become resistant to movement, and this is called spasticity.
Flicker: Involuntary tremor may occur.
Vision problems: Double vision, blurred vision may be, the opinion may go partially or completely, may be red-green color degradation. This usually affects one eye at a time. Inflammation of the optic nerves can cause pain during eye movements.
Walking and movement changes: MS can change the way people walk because muscle weakness is present and problems such as balance, dizziness and fatigue occur.
Emotional changes and depression: The process of destruction of myelin sheaths and damage of nerve fibers can trigger emotional changes in the brain and this is a different situation than adapting to MS. Research shows that MS increases the likelihood of depression to around 50%.
Some less common symptoms are as follows:
- loss of hearing
- breathing and breathing problems
- speech disorders
- swallowing problems
There may also be changes in perception, thinking, and temperature sensitivity in subsequent stages.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease and affects people in different ways. For example, it can start with a vague feeling and continue for months, years without progress. In others, symptoms may suddenly deteriorate within weeks and months.
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system attacks myelin sheaths like an unwanted alien substance like bacteria and viruses.
Risk factors are:
- Age: The diagnosis is more likely to be between the ages of 20-50.
- Gender: Women are more common than men.
- Ethnicity: Much more common in people of European descent.
- Genetic factors: predisposition can pass through genes.
The MS rate increases as it travels further than the equator, indicating that daylight exposure changes the risk of MS.
Some other possible factors that may be associated with MS but have not been confirmed by research are as follows:
- Toxic substances exposure: May be caused by heavy metals and solvents.
- Infections: Viruses such as Epstein-Barr, mononucleosis and varicella zoster can be triggers.
- Salt: A study in 2013 found that too much salt in the diet could trigger autoimmune reactions.
In past theories, there were views that the dog distemper virus, physical trauma, or aspartame might be caused by, but there is no evidence to support them.
The MS is unlikely to be a single trigger and is probably affected by a number of factors.
The doctor will undergo a physical examination, ask for your symptoms and look at your medical history. The diagnosis cannot be made with a single test, and so there are a few strategies to see if the patient meets the necessary criteria.
Neurological examination, imaging scans, measurement of electrical activity in the brain, spinal fluid analysis and other tests can be applied. Thus, other diseases that can give these symptoms are eliminated.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases in the US, the early signs of MS are as follows:
- blurry or double vision
- eye pain and rapid loss of vision
- muscle weakness and stiffness
- painful muscle spasms
- tingling or numbness in arms, legs, percent and hips
- difficulty in balance when walking
- difficulty in controlling urine or need to urinate from sudden
- permanent dizziness
If these symptoms occur, the person should see the doctor.
MS has no cure and therefore the treatment is based on management of symptoms and suppression of the autoimmune response.
Some drugs can be administered for repeated types of MS.
Corticosteroids: These are the most common drugs for MS. They reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. They usually treat acute exacerbations in some types of MS.
Interferon Beta 1a or 1b: They may slow the development of symptoms but should be used with caution because they can cause liver damage.
According to a study of 868 patients, Interferon Beta does not help in the long term to prevent disease.
Copaxone: It aims to stop the immune system from attacking myelin sheaths. Once a day. Sweat or shortness of breath may occur after injection.
Tysabri: It can be applied in cases where other treatments cannot be applied or in cases where there is no benefit. Increases the risk of fatal brain infection.
Mitoxantrone: This immunosuppressant is used only in advanced stages. It may damage the heart, but if symptoms are deteriorating rapidly, it may slow progress.
Cannabis extract: They show that they can help relieve pain, muscle stiffness, and insomnia.
Aubagio: The tablet taken once a day is taken in repeated forms of MS.
The goal of rehabilitation is that patients can work better at work and at home.
The program usually has the following:
Physical Therapy: The goal is to keep people's maximum movement and functional abilities and repair the losses.
Occupational therapy: To prevent obstacles and improve development through therapeutic use of work, personal care and play activities.
Speech and swallowing therapy: A language and speech therapist implements a special training.
Cognitive rehabilitation: It helps manage specific problems about people's thinking and perceptions.
Job rehabilitation: Enables people with disabilities to make career plans, learn job skills and find a job.
In this method, blood is taken from the patient, the plasma is removed and new plasma is placed and the patient is given blood again.
With this process, the white blood cells that attack the body are eliminated, but it is not entirely clear whether it helps MS patients. There are mixed results.
Vitamin D and Omega-3 Supplements
The researchers found a link between vitamin D deficiency and MS, but whether vitamin D supplements would help or not is still under investigation.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in MS patients, but they concluded that Norwegian scientists would not be helpful.
You can purchase products such as vitamin D and omega-3 supplements from the internet or pharmacies. But it is necessary not to take reinforcements without consulting the doctor first.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Although oxygen therapy may be helpful in MS patients, there is no evidence.
As a result
The progress of the MS is different for each person and it is therefore difficult to predict what will happen.
However, the life expectancy of MS individuals is almost the same as those who do not have discomfort.
Rarely, the symptoms can be fatal.
The symptoms and treatment of MS were first revealed on Ayse Tolga Good Life.
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