What is Multiple Sclerosis?
It is a disease of the nervous system that is constantly developing and progressing, and ultimately leads to disability. Although medicine is progressing year by year, the cause of multiple sclerosis is still unknown. However, it has been accepted that it is an autoimmune disorder with a multifactorial inception.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (sclerosis multiplex, MS) – is a chronic disease that is inflammatory and demyelinating. A characteristic feature of this disease is disseminated changes in the central nervous system, which spread over several stages.
Areas that affect multiple sclerosis:
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis
In the beginning, multiple sclerosis is difficult to diagnose. Usually there is one symptom, e.g. retrobulbar inflammation of the optic nerve – it definitely worsens the patient’s eyesight. The symptoms related to your eyesight may develop suddenly (temporarily) or continuously deteriorate your eyesight. Called nystagmus and dizziness by patients, they are evidence of an increasingly intense attack by MS. Recurring vision problems should also be a warning light. However, most often the disease can be observed when the following symptoms are present:
Sensory disturbance (differently felt touch, differently felt pain or temperature);
Sensory sensations within the limbs;
Frequent numbness in the limbs, tingling or a specific prickling sensation
Multiple sclerosis can affect the entire nervous system, if a patient comes with symptoms such as double vision, headaches and dizziness, it could be a sign of a wide range of attacks of MS on the nervous system.
In addition to the standard and most common symptoms listed above, there are also symptoms such as:
problem with motor coordination;
heaviness and pain in the legs;
feeling tired more often;
general feeling of weakness
The development of the disease
As a result of developing multiple sclerosis in a patient, it is common to see developing paresis of one or both arms or legs. The spread of the disease may also lead the patient to difficulties in smooth movement or excessive trembling of the limbs during any movement.
Psychic vs. multiple sclerosis
The disease, in its advanced stage, causes the patient to become disabled, which also affects mental health. It is said that 2/3 of patients may experience depression and other mood disorders through MS. Depression during the disease is influenced not only by its course and well-being resulting from the vision of past disability, but also by medications based on a large dose of steroid hormones and interferon. It is estimated that the risk of suicide among MS patients is several times higher than in the general population. Treatment of depression in the course of MS often requires the cooperation of a neurologist and a psychiatrist, and involves the use of antidepressants and psychotherapeutic interventions. In addition to general depression, other mental disorders can also occur, such as:
Bipolar affective disorder;
Pathological emotions of crying and laughing
The causes of multiple sclerosis
So far, it has not yet been possible to specifically identify the exact cause. However, it is known that when it is an autoimmune disease, the patient’s entire immune system attacks the cells of the nervous system. Through the study of over a dozen hundred patients suffering from MS, several factors have been identified that may contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis to some extent, including:
age range between 20 and 40 years of age;
sick thyroid gland;
type I diabetes;
inflammation of the intestine;
obesity in adolescence;
high lack of vitamin D.
Treatment of patients with diagnosed multiple sclerosis
Unfortunately, despite a number of medical specialists and continuous development, a complete recovery of a patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is impossible. A sick person struggles with this disease for the rest of his life, because it has not been proven where the main cause of the disease comes from. Nevertheless, symptomatic treatment is applied and immunomodulating drugs are administered, i.e. drugs that modify the course of the disease. The best and most effective treatment and shortening of the duration of neurological symptoms during MS relapses by administering glucocorticoids.
Patients are also treated with drugs to slow the progression of the disease or to relieve pain. Medicines are selected individually for the patient. In exceptional circumstances, the patient may be treated with natalizumab or fingolimod. In really severe and difficult cases in the relapsing-remitting form, immunosuppressive treatment with mitoxantrone is also used. Rehabilitation is also recommended, under the supervision of a specialist. Often times, rehabilitation has a very positive effect on patients as it helps to improve movement and increase physical and mental well-being.
How is Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed?
Choosing a good doctor is essential. Detailed interview and neurological tests. One of the most popular tests for the detection of MS is magnetic resonance imaging and performing a lumbar puncture and collecting the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).