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4014 Multiple-Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is a nervous system disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. The body's immune system eats away at the protective sheath (myelin) that covers the nerves. Damage to the myelin sheath interferes in communication between the brain, spinal cord and other areas of one's body. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men and often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Initially, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to walk, write and speak.

The cause for MS is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Researchers and doctors are unsure as to why MS develops in some people and not others. Also, a combination of factors, ranging from heredity to childhood infections, may play a role.

MS symptoms vary, as it depends on the location of the affected nerve fibers. Symptoms include:

• Weakness and numbness in one or more limbs
• Blurred or double vision
• A partial or complete loss of central vision, frequently in one eye accompanied with pain during eye movement
• Pricking, tingling or pain in parts of the body
• Lack of coordination, unstable gait and tremor
• Dizziness and fatigue
• Indistinct speech
• Electric shock sensations that transpire with certain head movements
• Heat sensitivity can trigger or worsen MS symptoms

In some cases, individuals with MS may also develop the following:

• Epilepsy
• Depression
• Paralysis
• Spasms
• Muscle stiffness
• Issues with bladder, bowel or sexual function
• Mental changes such as problem concentrating or forgetfulness

There is no single cure for multiple sclerosis. But, medicines may slow it down and control the symptoms. A medical history, physical exam, neurological exam, MRI and other tests are required to diagnose it.

If you develop or experience Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, contact your doctor!

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