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Multiple Sclerosis Condition Center – Health.com

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Multiple Sclerosis Journey

By Kathleen DohenyHealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Aug. 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) Breast-feeding exclusively for at least two months may help new mothers with multiple sclerosis (MS) lower their risk of relapse, new research suggests. Exclusive breast-feeding, without supplementing, seems to be key, the researchers said. We found that women with MS who breast-fed exclusively had a significantly lower [...]

By Kathleen DohenyHealthDay Reporter WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) Children with multiple sclerosis (MS) who exercise have less disease activity than those who dont, researchers report. The study is a first look, so we cant draw any definitive conclusion from it, said study author Dr. E. Ann Yeh, director of the pediatric MS and neuroinflammatory [...]

By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) Medical marijuana can be useful in treating chronic pain, but may be less effective for other conditions, a new analysis reveals. A review of nearly 80 clinical trials involving medical marijuana or marijuana-derived drugs revealed moderately strong evidence to support their use in treating chronic pain, [...]

By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter WEDNESDAY, May 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) People with multiple sclerosis may have twice the risk of dying prematurely compared to people without MS, a new study suggests. And the study also found that for people younger than 59 with MS, the risk of an early death seemed to be tripled, compared to [...]

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) When the seasons change, your immune system response may also change, British researchers report. These findings might explain why conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease are worse in the winter than in the summer, the new study finds. The researchers from the University of Cambridge analyzed genes from [...]

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Multiple Sclerosis Condition Center - Health.com

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Overview – HealthCommunities.com

Overview of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, chronic, degenerative disorder that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates nerves and facilitates the conduction of nerve impulses is the initial target of inflammatory destruction in multiple sclerosis.

MS is characterized by intermittent damage to myelin, called demyelination. Demyelination causes scarring and hardening (sclerosis) of nerve tissue in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves. Demyelination slows conduction of nerve impulses, which results in weakness, numbness, pain and vision loss.

Because different nerves are affected at different times, MS symptoms often worsen (exacerbate), improve, and develop in different areas of the body. Early symptoms of the disorder may include vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, blind spots), numbness, dizziness and muscle weakness.

MS can progress steadily or cause acute attacks (exacerbations) followed by partial or complete reduction in symptoms (remission). Most patients with the disease have a normal lifespan.

MS is the most common neurological cause of debilitation in young people. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 250,000 - 350,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Worldwide, the incidence of MS is approximately 0.1 percent. Northern Europe, the northern United States, southern Australia, and New Zealand have the highest prevalence, with more than 30 cases per 100,000 people.

MS is more common in women and in Caucasians. The average age of onset is between 20 and 40, but the disorder may develop at any age. Children of parents with MS have a higher rate of incidence (30 - 50 percent).

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Overview - HealthCommunities.com

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Multiple sclerosis – MedlinePlus

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between your brain and your body, leading to the symptoms of MS. They can include

No one knows what causes MS. It may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak, or walk.

There is no single test for MS. Doctors use a medical history, physical exam, neurological exam, MRI, and other tests to diagnose it. There is no cure for MS, but medicines may slow it down and help control symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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13 Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis – Healthline

A Close Look at MS Symptoms

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease with unpredictable symptoms that can vary in intensity. While some people experience fatigue and numbness, severe cases of MS can cause paralysis, vision loss, and diminished brain function.

MS affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. Women are affected more than twice as often as men, according to the National MS Society. Family history is also a major risk factor.

MS is a progressive autoimmune disorder. That means the system designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body that are vital to everyday function. The protective covering of nerve cells are damaged, which leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal column.

The cause of MS largely remains a mystery, even though the disease was discovered in 1868. Researchers know the nerve damage is caused by inflammation, but the cause of the inflammation is still unknown.

The most common early signs of MS are vision problems, clinically called optic neuritis. Inflammation affects the optic nerve and disrupts central vision. This can lead to blurred vision in one or both eyes, double vision, or loss of contrast or vivid colors.

You may not notice the vision problems immediately, as degeneration of clear vision can be slow. Pain when you look up or to one side also can accompany vision loss.

MS affects nerves in the brain and spinal column (the bodys message center). This means it can send conflicting signals around the body. Sometimes, no signals are sent. This results in the most common symptom: numbness.

Tingling sensations and numbness are the most common warning signs of MS. Common sites of numbness include the face, arms, legs, and fingers.

Chronic pain and involuntary muscle spasms are also common with MS. One study, according to the National MS Society, showed that half of people with MS had either clinically significant pain or chronic pain.

Muscle stiffness or spasms (spasticity) are also common. They involve feelings of stiff muscles or joints as well as uncontrollable, painful jerking movements of extremities. The legs are most often affected, but back pain is also common.

Unexplained fatigue and weakness affect about 80 percent of people in the early stages of MS.

Chronic fatigue occurs when nerves deteriorate in the spinal column. Usually, the fatigue appears suddenly and lasts for weeks before improving. The weakness is most noticeable in the legs at first.

Dizziness and problems with coordination and balance can decrease the mobility of someone with MS. Your doctor may refer to these as problems with your gait. People with MS often feel lightheaded, dizzy, or feel as if their surroundings are spinning (vertigo). This symptom often occurs when a person stands up.

A dysfunctional bladder is another symptom occurring in up to 80 percent of people with MS. This can include urinating frequently, strong urges to urinate, or inability to hold in urine.

Urinary-related symptoms are often manageable. Less often, people with MS experience constipation, diarrhea, or loss of bowel control.

Sexual arousal can also be a problem for people with MS because it begins in the central nervous system where MS attacks.

About half of people with MS will develop some kind of issue with their cognitive function. This can include:

Depression and other emotional health problems are also common.

Major depression is common among people with MS. The stresses of MS can also cause irritability, mood swings, and a condition called pseudobulbar affect: bouts of uncontrollable crying and laughing.

Coping with MS symptoms, along with relationship or family issues, can make depression and other emotional disorders even more challenging.

Not everyone with MS will have the same symptoms. Different symptoms can manifest themselves during attacks. Along with the symptoms mentioned on the previous slides, MS can also cause:

MS often astounds doctors because of how much it can vary in both its severity and the ways that it affects people. Attacks can last a few weeks and then disappear. However, relapses can get progressively worse, more unpredictable, and come with different symptoms.

However, early detection may help prevent MS from progressing quickly.

MS isnt necessarily hereditary. However, you have a higher chance of developing the disease if you have a close relative with MS, according to the National MS Society.

The general population only has a tenth of a percent chance of developing MS. But the National MS Society reports that number jumps to 2.5 to 5 percent if you have a sibling or parent with MS.

Heredity isnt the only factor in determining MS. An identical twin only has a 25 percent chance of developing MS if their twin has the disease. While genetics is certainly a risk factor, its not the only one.

A doctor most likely a neurologist will perform several tests to diagnose MS, including:

Doctors use these tests to look for damage to the central nervous system in two separate areas that occurred at least one month apart. These tests are also used to rule out other conditions.

MS is a challenging disorder, but researchers have discovered many treatments that can slow its progression.

The best defense against MS is seeing your doctor immediately after you experience the first warning signs. This is especially important if someone in your immediate family has the disorder, as its one of the key risk factors for MS.

Don't hesitate. It could make all the difference.

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13 Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis - Healthline

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Multiple Sclerosis – eMedicineHealth

Multiple Sclerosis (cont.) When to Seek Medical Care

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are very variable and differ from patient to patient. They can also be confused with symptoms of many other conditions. A physician should be notified if you or someone you know has any of the signs and symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Also check with a doctor if you or someone you know has any signs or symptoms that may not be associated but that are of concern. The person may not have multiple sclerosis, but because of the nonspecific nature of this disease, it is best to let a qualified professional make that determination.

Several of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be severe enough to send the patient to a hospital's emergency department.

Diagnosing multiple sclerosis is difficult. The vague and nonspecific nature of this disease mimics many other diseases. Doctors combine history, physical exam, laboratory work, and sophisticated medical imaging techniques to arrive at a diagnosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/12/2015

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Multiple Sclerosis – Lab Tests Online

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