Multiple sclerosis information – Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that involves an inflammatory process at the level of the central nervous system. The disease causes dysfunctions of the body’s nervous cells (neurons), due to destruction of myelin, a substance that surrounds the neurons. Myelin is vital for the proper activity of the nervous system, as it facilitates the transmission of information between neurons. When the nervous cells’ myelin-containing membrane is damaged, the innervated tissues of the entire body can be seriously affected. Due to destruction of myelin, multiple sclerosis can cause dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal, sensorial and cognitive systems. Sometimes, the disease can also affect the activity of the internal organs (kidneys, gastrointestinal tract). People who suffer from multiple sclerosis can in time develop neuropsychological conditions, such as depression, mania or dementia.
Information on multiple sclerosis incidence – Research results reveal that multiple sclerosis affects around 2 million people worldwide. Statistics also indicate that there are more than 350.000 cases of multiple sclerosis in the United States. An interesting aspect of the disease is that it tends to affect young people. Although multiple sclerosis can also be developed by the elderly, the disease has the highest incidence in people with ages between 20 and 40. Another interesting feature of multiple sclerosis is that it predominantly affects women, rarely occurring in the opposite sex.
Information on multiple sclerosis causes and factors of risk – The actual causes of multiple sclerosis aren’t clear. Medical scientists believe that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis. It is believed that multiple sclerosis occurs on the background of genetic predispositions, triggered by environmental factors. Although this fact hasn’t been confirmed, viral infections are also considered to facilitate the development of this type of neurological disease. Multiple sclerosis has a hereditary character and the genetic predispositions to this type of disease can be transmitted from one generation to another. Certain environmental factors, such as stress, lack of sleep, warm climate, are also considered to increase the risks of developing multiple sclerosis.
Information on multiple sclerosis symptomatic spectrum – Multiple sclerosis can affect virtually any level of the body, generating a wide range of symptoms. The most common physical signs of multiple sclerosis are: muscle pain, inflammation, numbness, weakness; poor body mobility; pronounced fatigue; loss of dexterity; poor balance; poorly coordinated moves; decreased vision. Common neuropsychological signs of multiple sclerosis are: lack of concentration; poor mental performance; short-term memory loss; compromised judgment. In extreme cases, multiple sclerosis can even lead to depression, mania and dementia.
Information on multiple sclerosis diagnosis – Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed upon elaborate physical and neuropsychological examinations, as well as specific medical procedures and laboratory tests. Common means of diagnosing multiple sclerosis are MRI scans and lumbar puncture, procedures which can reveal possible damage of myelin.
Information on multiple sclerosis treatment options – Multiple sclerosis medical treatments are usually individualized according to the patients’ experienced symptoms. Multiple sclerosis treatments commonly involve the use of beta interferon, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids. These medications can alleviate most physical symptoms generated by multiple sclerosis, also preventing their recurrence. When the disease affects the cognitive functions of the body, commonly prescribed medications are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Central Nervous System Stimulants.
Information on multiple sclerosis therapy – Medication-free therapy for multiple sclerosis involves the physical recuperation of patients. As most symptoms of multiple sclerosis are perceived at the level of the musculoskeletal system, therapy through exercise is very effective in alleviating muscle pain, weakness and numbness.