The Truth about Multiple Sclerosis
MS is classified as an autoimmune disorder. This is because the white blood cells of a person with multiple sclerosis attacks its own tissue.
This causes inflation, which leads to the destruction of the myelin sheath, the cover that protects the spinal cord and nerve endings.
This unprotected area known as lesions, causes the body’s electrical impulses to malfunctioning. This causes various symptoms. These symptoms can come and go, or they can become worse as the disease progresses.
Although the cause is unknown, it’s thought that trauma and genetics play a role. Studies show that infection and emotional stress can cause the MS symptoms to worsen.
It’s more common in Caucasian females and more prominent furthest north and south of the equator. It’s still unclear on why these consistencies exist.
There are various tests used to diagnose and treat MS. Some of them include; MRI, lumbar puncture and evoked potentials
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging is the one used to diagnose MS the most. What happens is a person’s placed in a tube where various pictures are taken. These slides are then reviewed by a neurologist.
The doctor will look for things like lesions in the white matter of the brain. He will also look for cortex changes, changes in the spinal cord and the brain stem.
He will see if there is atrophy, which is volume shrinkage in this area. Sometimes a doctor will use gadolinium if he wants to examine the brain closely.
This heavy metallic dye will leak out into areas of the brain where there is a deformity. If a Diagnosis of MS is made, the doctor usually will continue to order MRI’s to follow the progression of the disease.
Spinal taps, also known as a lumbar puncture is used to show how well the immune system is working. It also shows possible inflammation.
People with MS will have a large amount of white blood cells and antibodies in the spinal fluid. The spinal fluid can also determine of other diseases like Lyme disease and lymphoma is present.
The measurement of the oligoclonal band tells the doctor how the immune systems doing.
Evoked potential involves stimulating the nerves in the brain and spinal cord and then measuring and recording their reaction.
Auditory uses clicking noises in the ears. Where visual is flashing checkerboard images in front of the patient. After the stimulation, the somatosensory responses are recorded.
Generally this recording consist of arm and leg nerves that go up, into the spinal column. A person with MS might show slower, but normal recordings. Generally the one that’s most effective in diagnosing MS, is the visual test.
Although many think that this disease is a rapidly progressing, disabling disease. This isn’t always the case. Studies show that most people still had mobility after twenty five years. A few of these didn’t show any signs of MS.
Possible Side Effects
People with MS can have bladder incontinence, but are more likely to have frequent and urgency. They might also have difficulty with starting to urinate.
People with MS also feel tiered fatigued even after a restful night’s sleep. This is thought to be due from the body fighting the infection. It can be caused from the body having to work harder to send signals to the brain.
People with MS generally have pain. They can have back. neck pain. Sometimes they will have burning, numbness, or tingling in their extremities, possible throughout their body.
They may have a sharp stabbing pain in their face and jaw known as trigeminal neuralgia. These pains can be intermittent or continues. There are treatments available to help with the pain.
A person with MS might have spasms and it generally occurs in the legs. There are three kinds they are Phasic, spastic and tonic. Phasic is sudden, quick movements of the extremity Tonic is when the limb tightens up.
Spastic is where the muscle becomes rigid. It usually affects their movement, such as walking, transferring and sitting. This type of spasm’s painful and leaves the person weak.
Can Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Worsen Without New Lesson?
Now we know about this autoimmune disease the question still stands. Can multiple sclerosis symptoms worsen without a new lesion? The answer is yes and this is how.
An attack also known as a relapse or exacerbation can cause MS symptoms to become worse without new lesions appearing.
In order for a doctors to consider it an attack, it has to last over 48 hours and it cannot be the result of a fever, or an infection.
The symptoms of an attack can range from minor to extreme, but the problem it creates, lets suffer know the disease is active. This remission isn’t always related to how the disease is progressing.
Many who suffer will notice a flocculation in symptoms, and symptoms that last briefly. This isn’t an attack.
Summing up the Facts
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. It attacks the myelin sheath, the cover around the nerve endings and spinal cord. These lesions cause disruption in the body’s electronic signals, which creates numerous problems.
There’s not a lot of information about this disease, Fortunate for us, there is medicines available. They reduce the progression, decrease the possibility of new attacks, and decrease the chances of forming new lesions. There’s also numerous medical devices that’ll assist a person with MS to lead a fully more productive life.
A friend who suffers with MS once told me he was devastated when he first started using medical devices. Then his attitude changed.
Now he thinks of it as continuing the fight, with a stronger weapon. When I asked for some advice he said to tell the readers to exercise.
Even if you have to do a few at a time, more frequently. The more you use your muscles, the less likely you are to have atrophy and contractures.