Facts That Multiple Sclerosis Patients Need to Know

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system. It was first identified by a French neurologist, Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, in 1868.There is no cure, but there are a number of medications and lifestyle changes that multiple sclerosis patients and their families can use to make the disease more manageable. In this article, we’ll examine the known facts about the disease and MS treatment options.The disease multiple sclerosis attacks the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin in patches. Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary greatly from person to person and can include vision disturbances, extreme fatigue, loss of balance, problems with coordination, stiffness of muscles, speech problems, bladder and bowel problems, short-term memory problems, and even partial or complete paralysis.Treatment for this disease can minimize the impact of these symptoms and allow patients and their family to live a relatively normal life. MS treatment can have some side effects, so you should notify your doctor immediately if you experience an adverse reaction to your medication.The bathroom can present challenges to multiple sclerosis patients. MS sufferers should not lock the door or shower when no one else is home, but there are safety measures that you can put into place to make using the facilities easier.To avoid falls, hand rails should be installed by the toilet and bathtub. Showering is safer for MS patients than bathing. Run the water before you get into the tub to avoid getting burned, place a slide proof mat on the floor of the tub, and take your shower sitting down. Keep pillows and bottles in a place where they can’t block the drain.The kitchen can also be a minefield for MS sufferers. You should cook using a microwave to avoid burns and fires. If you do use a stove, then select a model with controls located at the front, use the back burners whenever possible, and use a stove guard which fits around the side or front of the stove.It’s a good idea to buy a kettle with an automatic switch-off. You should also avoid using appliances such as an electric egg beater and electric carving knives. When loading a dishwasher, point blades and other sharp objects downward. Keep regularly used household items such as utensils and towels where they can be easily reached.The combination of medication, therapy and counseling has proven to be extremely useful to multiple sclerosis patients. Living with multiple sclerosis means that you have to take the appropriate home safety measures.Taking these little steps will make living with MS easier for both you and your family. With ongoing MS research, hopefully one day soon there will be a cure for this disease. For more information, contact the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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What You Should Know About Multiple Sclerosis

What is multiple sclerosis? It is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system. Although the often debilitating symptoms of the disease are clear, scientists have yet to nail down a cause. Some researchers believe that MS is triggered by the body’s own immune system, while others attribute it to viruses such as Epstein-Barr.Other scientists believe that its virtual absence from tropical countries points to a deficiency of vitamin D during childhood. With so many theories about multiple sclerosis, it’s difficult for patients to know what to believe. In this article, we’ll examine the known facts about the disease and MS treatment options.The disease multiple sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord by attacking the protective myelin covering of the central nervous system. This causes inflammation and often destroys the myelin in patches.MS has well defined attacks followed by complete or partial recovery. The severity of MS, progression and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis.Multiple sclerosis can occur at any age, and is three times more likely to occur in women than in men, and is seen most commonly in people of northern European background. There is also some evidence to suggest that MS is triggered by a common virus, and that genetics makes some people more susceptible to the disease.Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary greatly from person to person and can include vision disturbances, extreme fatigue, loss of balance, problems with coordination, stiffness of muscles, speech problems, bladder and bowel problems, short-term memory problems, and even partial or complete paralysis.One thing that’s important to remember about multiple sclerosis is that patients will not necessarily experience all the symptoms, and the symptoms improve during periods of remission. The main clinical measure of disability progression and severity of the symptoms is the Expanded Disability Status Scale or EDSS.The one thing that can be said definitively about multiple sclerosis is that there is not yet a cure. While the disease does induce painful symptoms, it is not fatal. Researchers have developed a number of medications that effectively control some symptoms, so patients can continue to love a normal life. These medications do have reported side effects, but the search for better medications is ongoing.MS treatment and medications have proven to be effective in controlling the symptoms, and there is hope for a cure. Researchers are trying to develop techniques to repair damaged myelin and nerve fibers. Scientists are also trying to understand why the immune system attacks the body’s myelin so that these attacks can be prevented.Given enough time and funding, hopefully one day there will be a cure for multiple sclerosis. Until that time, continue to live as full a life as you can.