About Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition which affects the central nervous system of your body: the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. During MS, the protective covering of your nerves starts to degenerate and the electrical impulses which travel up and down your nerves begin to get slower and have difficulty effectively transmitting messages from your brain to your body. This protective covering, called myelin, is important for conducting and maintaining the health of nerves. When the myelin starts to wear away, the nerves themselves can become damaged when this happens. The more affected a personâ€™s nerves are, the more progressive their challenge of doing everyday activities becomes. People who suffer severe signs of multiple sclerosis experience MS muscle weakness and difficulty controlling parts of their nervous system, impacting their speech, vision, walking, writing, or their memory.
Symptoms of MS
Standard and early symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary widely depending on which part of the nervous system has sustained the most damage. Different areas of nerve fibers can produce different effects when damaged. Signs and symptoms of MS might include:
- MS muscle weakness or numbness in your limbs. Typically, one part of your body is affected at a time. For example, the left side is affected, but not the right. The bottom part of your body is affected, but not the upper part.
- Blurring of your vision, or seeing double
- Tingling, or pins and needle pain in different parts of your body
- Complete loss of vision, or partial loss of vision. Usually only one eye is affected at a time. Pain when making eyeball movement.
- Sensations like an electric shock when
- Multiple Sclerosis headaches or muscle aches
- Feeling dizzy
Early signs of multiple sclerosis involve the relapse and the complete or partial remission cycling of the MS symptoms. Increases in body temperature will usually trigger or worsen the symptoms of MS.
Multiple Sclerosis Risk Factors
It's estimated that 2.5 million people around the world suffer from MS and 400,000 of those live in the United States.
Being Female. Multiple sclerosis in women is almost twice the number as it is in men.
Aging between 20-40. Multiple sclerosis diagnosis is usually made in men and women in this age range.
Genetics. Having a family history of MS will increase your risk of developing MS by 30%. The average person without a history of MS in their family has only a 1 in 10 chance of developing multiple sclerosis onset.
Developing particular autoimmune diseases. Statistics show that people who suffer from other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease, are at an increased risk of developing MS as well.
Being White. People of white heritage, particularly those with a northern European background are at the highest risk of MS. Elasticities with the lowest risk of developing multiple sclerosis are Asian, African or Native American descent.
Geographical Location. Multiple sclerosis appears to be far more common in areas at a higher latitude, recording highest numbers of cases in Europe, southern Canada, northern United States, New Zealand and southeastern Australia.
Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
Although there is no known cure for MS, the multiple sclerosis prognosis is that it's not a fatal disease. Except for extreme and severe cases of multiple sclerosis, people who have developed MS have a normal life span and usually die from similar conditions as unaffected people, like heart disease, cancer, etc.
With proper treatment, MS symptoms can be treated and managed, and the progression of the disease can be controlled. Some people have symptoms so mild that no treatment is even necessary. Although MS can negatively impact the quality of a person's life, most people who develop the disease don't become severely disabled.