Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The cause of MS is unknown. (nationalmsscoiety.org)
Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?
MS is not specific to one gender or race. Anyone can be diagnosed with MS. However, there is a higher chance that a women would develop MS over a man. Other factors such as low Vitamin D and smoking can increase the chances of developing MS. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.
What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
The most common symptoms of MS are Fatigue, Numbness or Tingling, Weakness, Dizziness and Vertigo, Sexual Problems, Pain and Itching, Emotional Changes, Spasticity, Vision Problems, Bladder Problems, Bowel Problems, Cognitive Changes, and Depression. No two people with MS will have the same symptoms. These symptoms occur because of the damage within the central nervous system. There is a protective coating around our nerve fibers called myelin. Inflammation from the MS immune process will cause damage to this protective coating.
How is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?
MS is difficult to diagnose since the symptoms could be a result of other issues. There is no single test that can show a positive or denial for MS. A MRI along with spinal fluid analysis are major factors in diagnosing MS. Blood test are used to rule out any other conditions that cause similar symptoms.
How is Multiple Sclerosis Treated?
Although there is no cure for MS, there are medications that can help people manage their symptoms. There are oral medications, injectable medications, and infused medications specifically designed for MS. These medications can reduce the number of relapses, delay disability progression, and prevent lesions on the brain.
What Resources are Available for People with Multiple Sclerosis?
Other than your doctor and family’s support there are support groups available to you. These groups are for people with MS to share stories and support one another because they are fighting a similar battle. Get involved with a local chapter. Evansville has a non-profit organization called Tri-State Multiple Sclerosis Association. This organization will assist in finding treatment centers, hosting support groups, answering disease related questions, among much more support.