Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system - which consists of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. In severe cases, Multiple Sclerosis causes blindness and paralysis.

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Causes and Symptoms

MS is a serious autoimmune disorder which causes the thin protective coating over your nerves, or myelin, to break down. As the myelin breaks down, the nerves lose the ability to send signals which causes loss of muscle control and mobility.

The underlying cause of MS is thought to be either destruction by the immune system or failure of the cells that produce myelin.

Common symptoms of MS include:
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Double vision or vision loss
  • Lack of coordination
  • Unsteady gait

There is typically a cycle of relapse and remission with Multiple Sclerosis, although symptoms will gradually worsen over time.

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Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose MS, an evoked potential test is performed, which monitors how long it takes for nerves to respond to stimulation. There is currently no cure for MS, although treatment can slow the disease and alleviate symptoms. Common treatments include oral medications, injections, physical therapy and muscle relaxants.