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Multiple Sclerosis: Overview & Facts – WebMD

Overview & Causes Multiple sclerosis is a mysterious, often frustrating disease. Learn what scientists know about MS — what seems to trigger it, and its effect on the nervous system. What makes the bodys immune system cause damage to healthy nerves? Learn more about MS and its effect on the brain and spinal cord. Maybe youve felt exhausted or weak lately. Or your foot is starting to tingle. So you do a quick Internet search and come up with an alarming result: Your symptom is one of thesigns of multiple sclerosis(MS), a disease of thebrainand spinal cord. Before you start to worry, know that many signs of the condition are the same as symptoms of other health problems. Genetics, the environment, even viruses may play a role in who gets MS. Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) happens when your immune system attacks your nervous system. Until a few years ago, doctors told people who had one flare that they had possible MS. While CIS can develop into multiple sclerosis, that doesn’t always happen. The most comprehensive genetic study to date ofmultiple sclerosishas pinpointed a cluster of genes on chromosome 6 as playing the major role in causing the disorder. Multiple sclerosis(MS) andamyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) are different diseases with some similar features and symptoms. Continue reading below… Continue reading



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Multiple Sclerosis: Overview & Facts - WebMD

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) – Better Health Channel

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common chronic disease of the central nervous system among young Australians. Victoria has more people with MS than any other state in Australia. MS is not contagious, but it is progressive and unpredictable. MS occurs when the protective sheath (myelin) around the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord becomes damaged, causing random patches called plaques or lesions. These patches distort and interrupt the messages that are sent along these nerves. Sclerosis means scarring and the disease is labelled multiple because the damage usually occurs at a number of points. There are many different health effects of this disease and no two people will share the same symptoms. The cause of MS is unknown and, as yet, there is no cure. However, treatments are available to ease symptoms and slow down the course of the disease. The different types of MS are: The progressive form of MS is characterised by a steady worsening of symptoms without any remissions. The symptoms can be any combination of the five major health problems of MS, including: The trigger to the disease has not yet been discovered, but it is thought that genetic and environmental factors are involved. Research so far has found that, in nearly two thirds of cases, a relapse has been preceded by a viral illness. Some of the medication treatments available include: Some alternative therapies that may be helpful include: This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: MS Australia Last updated: August 2014 Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions. Continue reading



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Multiple sclerosis (MS) - Better Health Channel

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Multiple sclerosis – NHS Choices

Introduction Multiple sclerosis (MS) affectsnerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of symptoms including problems with muscle movement, balance and vision. Each nerve fibre in the brain and spinal cord is surrounded by a layer of protein called myelin, which protects the nerve and helps electrical signals from the braintravel to the rest of the body. In MS, the myelin becomes damaged. This disrupts the transfer of these nerve signals, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, such as: Read more about the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Around eight out of 10 people with MS are diagnosed with the relapsing remitting type of MS. Someone with relapsing remitting MS will have flare-ups of symptoms, known as relapses. These can last from a few days to a few months. These will be followed by periods where symptoms are mild or disappear altogether. This is known as remission and can last for days, weeks or sometimes months. Usually after around 15 years, around half of people with relapsing remitting MS will go on to develop secondary progressive MS. In secondary progressive MS, symptoms gradually worsen over time. Some people may still have relapses, but without full recovery from symptoms. The least common form of MS is primary progressive MS. In this type, symptoms gradually get worse over time and there are no periods of remission. There is currently no cure for MS, but a number of treatments can help. Relapsing remitting MS can be treated with disease-modifying drugs. These are designed to reduce the number of relapses someone has. They may also be able to slow the progression of MS.But they are not suitable for all people with MS. Some of these drugs can also be used for treating secondary progressive MS, if someone is still experiencing relapses. Currently, there is no treatment that can slow the progress of primary progressive MS. Read more about the treatment of multiple sclerosis. MS is known as an autoimmune condition. This is where something goes wrong with the immune system (the bodys defence against infection) and it mistakenly attacks healthy body tissue in this case, the myelin covering of nerves. This can cause multiple sections of the brain and spinal column to become damaged and hardened (sclerosis), which can disrupt the nerve signals passing through these areas. Exactly what causes the immune system to act in this way is unclear, but most experts thinka combination of genetic and environmental factors are involved. Read more about the possible risk factors and causes of multiple sclerosis. It is estimated there are currently around 100,000 people with MS in the UK. MS is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 20-40, although it can happen at any age. Children can also get MS, although this is rare. For reasons that are unclear, MS is three timesas common in women than men, and more common in white people than black and Asian people. MS can be a challenging and frustrating condition to live with but new treatments over the past 20 years have considerably improved the quality of life of people with the condition. MS is not fatal, but somecomplications that can arise from severe MS, such as pneumonia, can be. As a result, the average life expectancy for people with MS is around five to 10 years lower than the population at large. This gap appears to be getting smaller, perhaps because of improved medical care. There are a wide range of treatments and therapies, including physiotherapy, that can help relieve symptoms and make day-to-day living easier for people with MS. It may be useful to readyour guide to care and support written for people with care and support needs, as well as their partners and relatives. It includes information and advice on: There are three main MS charities in the UK: These organisations offer useful advice, publications, news items about ongoing research, blogs and chatrooms. It is highly recommended that you visit these websites if you, or someone you know, has just been diagnosed with MS. There is also the shift.ms website which is an online community for younger people affected by MS. If you have multiple sclerosis you should have a flu jab every year. Find out why and how Page last reviewed: 03/04/2014 Next review due: 03/04/2016 Continue reading



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Multiple sclerosis - NHS Choices

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Multiple Sclerosis – National Library of Medicine – PubMed …

Evidence reviews Treatment of seizures for patients with multiple sclerosis Epileptic seizures occur in a relatively small number of patients with multiple sclerosis, but can have serious consequences. Because the cause of epileptic seizures in patients in MS may be different from that in other forms of epilepsy, it is uncertain whether patients with MS should be treated differently. We searched for studies on the treatment of epileptic seizures in patients with MS, but found none. Well designed studies that address this issue are needed. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system which affects young and middleaged adults. Repeated damage to parts of the nerves leads to progressive weakness and disability. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves people breathing pure oxygen in a specially designed chamber (such as used for deep sea divers suffering pressure problems after resurfacing). HBOT is sometimes used for MS in case a lack of oxygen to the affected nerves may be making MS worse, but this theory is unproven. The review of nine trials found no consistent evidence that HOBT can improve disability or modify the progression of MS. There is little need for further research. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system which affects young and middleaged adults. Spasticity, a common problem in people with MS, is a disorder of voluntary movement caused by damage to the central nervous system. The main sign is the resistance to passive movement of a limb but other associated features pain, spasms, loss of function affect people’s quality of life more directly. See all (305) How do disease-modifying drugs compare in multiple sclerosis? Dimethyl fumarate (trade name: Tecfidera) has been approved in Germany since January 2014 for adults with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Epileptic seizures occur in a relatively small number of patients with multiple sclerosis, but can have serious consequences. Because the cause of epileptic seizures in patients in MS may be different from that in other forms of epilepsy, it is uncertain whether patients with MS should be treated differently. We searched for studies on the treatment of epileptic seizures in patients with MS, but found none. Well designed studies that address this issue are needed. See all (72) Continue reading



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Multiple Sclerosis - National Library of Medicine - PubMed ...

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Multiple Sclerosis Pictures: MS Brain Lesions, Symptoms …

What Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? MS is a chronic disease that damages the nerves in the spinal cord and brain, as well as the optic nerves. Sclerosis means scarring, and people with MS develop multiple areas of scar tissue in response to the nerve damage. Depending on where the damage occurs, symptoms may include problems with muscle control, balance, vision, or speech. Nerve damage can cause: These symptoms may lead to frequent tripping or difficulty walking. More than half of people with MS experience a vision problem called optic neuritis. This inflammation of the optic nerve may cause blurred vision, loss of color vision, eye pain, or blindness, usually in one eye. The problem is usually temporary and tends to improve within a few weeks. In many cases, vision problems are the first sign of MS. Although less common than vision problems, some people with MS develop slurred speech. This happens when MS damages the nerves that carry speech signals from the brain. Some people also have trouble swallowing. MS can take a toll on mental sharpness. Some people may find it takes longer to solve problems. Others may have mild memory loss or trouble concentrating. Most people with MS also experience some loss of bladder control, because signals between the brain and bladder are interrupted. Finally, fatigue is a common problem. You may feel tired even after a good night’s sleep. Confusion, slurred speech, and muscle weakness can be symptoms of MS, but they can also be signs of a stroke. Anyone who suddenly has trouble speaking or moving his or her limbs should be taken to the ER immediately. Treating a stroke within the first few hours provides the best odds of a successful recovery. In people with MS, the body’s own immune system attacks the tissue surrounding the nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. This covering is made of a fatty substance called myelin. It insulates the nerves and helps them send electrical signals that control movement, speech, and other functions. When myelin is destroyed, scar tissue forms, and nerve messages are not transmitted properly. The roots of MS remain mysterious, but doctors see some surprising trends. It’s most common in regions far from the equator, including Scandinavia and other parts of Northern Europe. These areas get less sunlight, so some researchers believe that vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”) may be involved. Research suggests a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disorders, but studies are ongoing. Genetics appear to play a role, as well. MS is at least twice as common in women as it is in men. While it can strike people of any race, Caucasians appear to be most at risk. The chances of developing the condition are highest between ages 20 and 50. Tests are often used, along with a medical history and neurological exam, to diagnose MS and rule out other causes of symptoms. More than 90% of people with MS have scar tissue that shows up on an MRI scan. A spinal tap can check for abnormalities in the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. Tests to look at electrical activity of nerves can also help with diagnosis. Lab tests can help rule out other autoimmune conditions or infections such as HIV or Lyme disease. MS is different in every person. Doctors usually see four forms: Relapsing-remitting: Symptoms flare during acute attacks, then improve nearly completely or “remit.” This is the most common form of MS. Primary-progressive: MS slowly but steadily worsens. Secondary-progressive: Begins as relapsing-remitting type, then becomes progressive. Progressive-relapsing: The underlying disease steadily worsens. The patient has acute relapses, which may or may not remit. This is the least common form of MS. Research suggests that the disease may be more active during the summer months. Heat and high humidity may also temporarily worsen symptoms. Very cold temperatures and sudden changes in temperature may aggravate symptoms, as well. While there is no cure for MS, there are “disease-modifying drugs” that can reduce the frequency and severity of MS attacks. Use can result in less damage to the brain and spinal cord over time, slowing the progression of disability. When an attack does occur, high-dose corticosteroids can help cut it short. Many drugs are also available to manage troubling MS symptoms, such as muscle spasms, incontinence, and pain. About half of people with MS develop some form of pain, either as a result of a short circuit in the nervous system or because of muscle spasms or strain. Doctors may prescribe antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications to ease nerve pain. Pain medicines and anti-spasm drugs may also be used. Muscle pain often responds well to massage and physical therapy. Be sure to discuss the options with your doctor if you find yourself in pain. If MS affects balance, coordination, or muscle strength, you can learn to compensate. Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles, combat stiffness, and get around more easily. Occupational therapy can help retain coordination in your hands for dressing and writing. And if you’re having trouble speaking or swallowing, a speech therapist can help. Many nontraditional therapies for MS have not been well studied. Some people say acupuncture relieves symptoms such as muscle spasms and pain, but research to confirm its value isn’t conclusive. Others have reported benefits from injections of bee venom, but a rigorous study, lasting 24 weeks, showed no improvements in disability, fatigue, or the number of MS attacks. It’s important to inform your doctor about any supplements, special diets, or other therapies you want to try. Doctors generally agree that its safe for women with MS to get pregnant. Research suggests no increased risk of complications during pregnancy. In fact, many women have fewer MS symptoms during pregnancy. High levels of hormones and proteins may suppress the immune system, reducing the odds of a new attack. It’s best to talk with your doctors before pregnancy, as certain MS drugs should not be used while pregnant or nursing.In the early months after delivery, the odds for a relapse can rise. The vast majority of people with MS are able to continue walking, though many benefit from some type of assistive device. Orthotic shoe inserts or leg braces can help increase stability. When one leg is stronger than the other, a cane can help. People with significant problems with their legs may need to use a walker. And a wheelchair or scooter may be best for those who are very unsteady or tire easily. Making a few changes around the home can help you manage daily activities on your own. Install grab bars inside and outside the shower or tub. Use a non-slip mat. Add an elevated seat and safety rails to the toilet. Lower one of your kitchen counters so you can reach it from a sitting position. And get rid of any throw rugs, which are a tripping hazard. Exercise can ease stiffness, fatigue, and other symptoms of MS. But overdoing it could make things worse. It’s best to start slowly. Try exercising for 10 minutes at a time, then gradually working your way up to a longer session. Before you begin, check with your doctor about what type of activity and level of intensity would be most appropriate. A few possibilities include water aerobics, swimming, tai chi, and yoga. Most people with MS live a normal or near-normal lifespan. While the condition may make it more difficult to get around or complete certain tasks, it doesn’t always lead to severe disability. Thanks to effective medications, rehab therapies, and assistive devices, many people with MS remain active, stay in their jobs, and continue to enjoy their families and favorite activities. Continue reading



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Multiple Sclerosis Pictures: MS Brain Lesions, Symptoms ...

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Check Your Symptoms and Signs

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stppler, MD Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary widely, and a description of “typical” symptoms is difficult. All the symptoms involve changes in neurologic functioning, but there are striking differences among patients in the type, severity, and frequency of these symptoms. Different disease patterns such as relapsing-remitting (RR), primary-progressive (PP), secondary-progressive (SP), and progressive-relapsing (PR) classify the condition according to the development and progression of symptoms over time. Relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis is the most common type, in which symptoms (exacerbations of the condition) are followed by periods of time with reduced or no symptoms. These relatively symptom-free periods, known as remissions, can last for days or for many years. Some cases of multiple sclerosis are so mild that the condition is difficult to diagnose. In other cases, there is a gradual decline in functioning through the years. In very rare cases, symptoms can be so severe and rapidly progressing as to be fatal within a short time (known as malignant or fulminant MS). Symptoms can be related to one body part or may involve multiple areas of the body. They may be of short duration or may persist for a long time. Some symptoms of multiple sclerosis are mild and cause inconvenience; others may be severe and debilitating. Visual disturbances can be the first sign of MS. The vision changes can include blurred vision, distortions, or loss of vision in one eye. The vision symptoms can be accompanied by eye pain. Other symptoms can include tingling, numbness, prickling pain, or muscle spasms in the arms and legs that may occur at one or multiple sites. Weakness in the arm and leg muscles may occur, and this can sometimes affect balance and posture, causing clumsiness or lack of coordination. Other symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, difficulties with speech, tremors, heat intolerance, and loss of sensation. Sexual dysfunction and loss of bladder or bowel control can develop in more serious cases. Mental changes can also occur as symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Memory loss, decreased ability to concentrate, attention deficits, an inability to perform sequential tasks, and changes in judgment have all been reported. Depression, mania, paranoia, and uncontrollable urges to laugh or weep are other symptoms that have been described. Summary of Common MS Symptoms by MedicineNet Staff A review of our Patient Comments indicated that many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have similar symptoms. Many patients said that they were in their 40s when their symptoms began. Optic neuritis was often the first MS symptom that people experienced. Initial symptoms also included numbness in the arms, feet, hands, and face, coupled with fatigue, dizziness, and difficulty walking. Several people also reported losing their balance and falling down, while others mentioned feeling a prickly heat sensation in their legs. Read on to learn more about MS symptoms in our Patient Comments. Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/8/2015 REFERENCE: Luzzio, Christopher. “Multiple Sclerosis.” Medscape.com. Nov. 24, 2014. . Continue reading



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Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Check Your Symptoms and Signs

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