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Multiple Sclerosis

MultipleSclerosis

MultipleSclerosis

Multiplesclerosis (MS) attacks the human brain and the spinal cord, whichform the central nervous system (CNS). The immune-mediated diseaseattacks myelin, which is a fatty substance that serves a protectivefunction to the nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Thedamaged myelin sheath or nerve fiber inhibits nerve impulses fromtraveling to and from the brain and spinal cord. Patients withmultiple sclerosis have a lifespan of approximately seven years lessthan the general population (Pihl-Jensen, Tsakiri &amp Frederiksen,2015). This paper examines the symptoms, causes, possible diagnosis,and the useful medications in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Symptoms

Multiplesclerosis affects more than 2.4 million individuals worldwide.Research indicates that some genetic factors make certain populationssusceptible to MS (Pihl-Jensen, Tsakiri &amp Frederiksen, 2015). Thesymptoms of multiple sclerosis vary among different people.Nevertheless, common symptoms include numbness, painful sensation,blurred vision, tingling, and slurred speech. Studies indicate thatsome patients experience muscle tightness and weakness, poorcoordination, and balance. Moreover, severity often results intemporary or permanent paralysis and tremors. Rogers and MacDonald(2015) hold that people with MS have problems with bladder, bowel,mood as well as sexual dysfunctions. Studies show that fatigue, whichaffects concentration and memory is a leading concern for people withmultiple sclerosis. The symptoms can appear in any combination.

Causes

Despiteconcerted research efforts, there are no known causes of MS.Nevertheless, a growing body of recent medical research points to acomplex interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors. Currentresearchers attribute the genesis of MS to the slow-acting viralinfections such as herpes, human T-cell lymphoma, measles, andEpstein-Barr (López-González et al., 2015). The viruses can remaindormant for many years. Exposure to any of the slow-acting viruses,particularly among the genetically susceptible people triggersmultiple sclerosis. Smoking increases the risk of developing MS. Infact, women who smoke are 1.7 times more likely to get MS thannon-smokers. Also, studies indicate that smokers who have MS face agreater risk of experiencing quick progression of the disease (Rogers&amp MacDonald, 2015). Ongoing research seeks to establish aconnection between multiple sclerosis and nutritional deficiencies invitamin D and fish oil.

Diagnosis

Thediagnosis of MS depends on an individual’s history of clinicalsymptoms and neurological examinations. Qualified neurologists shouldreview people’s symptoms thoroughly to suspect the presence ofmultiple sclerosis. (Pihl-Jensen, Tsakiri, and Frederiksen (2015)suggest that numerous lab tests should help to rule out otherconditions that have symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis. Magneticresonance imaging (MRI) and Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) analysis arethe two standard methods used to diagnose MS. MRI, consists of acomputer, radiofrequency stimulator and a big electromagnet(López-González et al., 2015). MRI takes x-ray-like images of thebrain and the spinal cord. The tests check for damages of centralnervous system. The diagnosis must include evidence of diseaseactivity, particularly lesions that formed in different points intime at separate areas of the CNS. The test might sometimes involvedying of the patient to illuminate precisely the areas ofinflammation. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis seeks to determine diseaseactivity as well as providing further evidence for the diagnosis ofMS (López-González et al., 2015). The CSF procedures detectabnormal antibody production within the cerebrospinal fluid. Thedetection of a particular protein in the fluid indicates the presenceof multiple sclerosis.

Medicationsand Treatment

Multiplesclerosis comes in two different forms including lapsing-remittingand progressive. As such, treatment depends on the type of MS. Thecure for MS remains unknown. However, studies show how patients canmanage the different symptoms, which fall into categories such asflare-ups or major temporary attacks of worsening, and more permanentproblems that that fluctuate from time to time (Pihl-Jensen, Tsakiri&amp Frederiksen, 2015). Relapses are treatable withcorticosteroids. The steroids are oral medications that manage thebody’s reaction to stress. The administration of steroids aims tohasten the recovery from an attack of neurological symptoms in MS.They do not cure MS nor do they prevent the next infection.

Fatigueis widespread symptom among people with MS. Some medications cantreat MS-related fatigue including Modafinil, Amantadine, andMethylphenidate. Moreover, MS causes different forms of pain. Variousmedications can help to manage MS-related pain. The treatment of painrequires a proper diagnosis of the causes. Physicians recommendmedications to dull MS-associated pain and discomfort. It is worthnoting that when pain persists patients can use narcotics such asmarijuana (Rogers &amp MacDonald, 2015). There are various bladderproblems that MS-patients experience. Treatment depends on the type.Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) result when the bladder fails to emptycompletely giving bacteria to thrive in the remaining urine(López-González et al., 2015). Catheter-related infections arecommon among MS patients. A proper diagnosis of UTI precedestreatment to prevent additional problems among MS patients. Most ofthe symptoms of MS are treatable. However, treatment does notpreclude multiple attacks among the susceptible people.

Conclusion

Multiplesclerosis is an autoimmune condition that makes the body’sprotection system to attack myelin that covers the nerve fibers ofthe central nervous system. The attacks result in demyelination,which prevents the smooth and rapid transmission of nerve impulses toand from the brain and the spinal cord. Individuals with MSexperience a broad range of symptoms depending on the type ofinfection. Common symptoms include blurred vision, limb weakness,tingling, poor balance, chronic pain, and bladder and boweldysfunction, fatigue, tremors, stress, and numbness. Despite repeatedresearch, there are no known causes of MS. However, studies show thatsome genetic and environmental factors increase the risk ofdeveloping MS. There is no known cure for MS. Physicians recommendmedications and treatment options to manage the various MS-associatedsymptoms.

References

López-González,A., Álvarez-Sánchez, N., Lardone, P. J., Cruz-Chamorro, I.,Martínez-López, A., Guerrero, J. M., &amp … Carrillo-Vico, A.(2015). Melatonin treatment improves primary progressive multiplesclerosis: a case report.&nbspJournalof Pineal Research,&nbsp58(2),173-177.

Pihl-Jensen,G., Tsakiri, A., &amp Frederiksen, J. (2015). Statin Treatment in: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.&nbspCNSDrugs,&nbsp29(4),277-291.

Rogers,K. A., &amp MacDonald, M. (2015). Therapeutic Yoga: SymptomManagement for .&nbspJournalof Alternative &amp Complementary Medicine,&nbsp21(11),655-659.&nbsp