the appearance of certain conditions. One such example is multiple sclerosis disease. Usually, people’s immune systems protect the body from infections. But with MS, the immune system damages the nerves of the brain and spinal cord in a person.
So, MS is an autoimmune disease of the nervous system. It manifests in nerve damage throughout the body. For this reason, they perceive and send impulses from the brain worse. As a result, the patient may experience muscle cramps, dizziness, and other signs. If you do not provide appropriate treatment, the disease begins to progress. There are four stages of multiple sclerosis:
- 1 – Clinically Isolated Syndrome;
- 2 – Relapsing-Remitting MS;
- 3 – Secondary Progressive MS;
- 4 – Primary Progressive MS.
Based on our observations, in most patients, we diagnose the remitting form at the beginning of the illness. But over time, it can turn into a worse one. In any case, doctors create a treatment program individually.
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Disease
If you think that multiple sclerosis is just about that type of sclerosis with forgetfulness, then no, you are wrong. It is a neurological disease. It has an autoimmune origin. That is, the human immune system cells mistakenly attack their own myelin cells. It is a protective sheath of nerves. It is necessary for conducting a nerve impulse. And it is vital for standard signal transmission in the central nervous system. When the body damages it, the signal is distorted, and disturbances occur. From this moment, the stages of multiple sclerosis begin to appear. The condition usually has a progressive course. So, exacerbations and remissions often happen.
Why does multiple sclerosis develop?
Scientists have yet to find the reason for it. They have several assumptions about this, but they are not yet confirmed. For the most part, scientists discuss various factors for its appearance:
- genetic predisposition;
- environmental factors. There is even one fact about multiple sclerosis: it is common more in countries further from the equator and in people with low levels of vitamin D.
Unfortunately, the disease can not be treated. Moreover, it progresses throughout life. In case of exacerbations, doctors use short-term therapy. It is with high doses of hormonal drugs.
Is multiple sclerosis contagious? This is one more question that people often ask when facing this condition. In fact, it is not contagious. MS is a chronic disease. Thus, it is not transmitted from one person to another.
Immune System and MS
Everyone knows that the immune system fights illnesses in the human body. With the appearance of viruses and diseases, it tries to remove them from the body quickly. But in multiple sclerosis disease, the immune system mistakes its cells for harm. So, it starts attacking them, which can cause extra damage. The more the immune system attacks its cells, the more difficult illness is.
Also, the immune system in MS can produce large amounts of cytokines. These are signaling proteins that regulate the inflammatory process. Too many cytokines can support inflammation. It contributes to further damage to myelin. And when a person has an exacerbation of the disease, the immune system sends a large number of inflammatory cells to the affected area. It leads to further damage to myelin.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
There are several types of MS. They can manifest themselves in various symptoms. So, they have various effects on the course of the disease. Here are more details about these types of MS:
Benign MS is a rare form of the disease. With it, patients have minimal neurological signs and long periods of remission. People with this type can live without significant limitations. Accordingly, they function normally and almost without problems. This type of MS is in only a tiny percentage of patients.
Based on our own experience, malignant MS is the most aggressive type of the disease. It has a rapid progression of neurological symptoms. It leads to disabling severe conditions. The malignant type can lead to increased disability for several years after diagnosis.
Regardless of the type of illness, it is imperative to carry out progressive MS treatment. It is to ease the manifestations.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Signs of this condition can vary depending on the stage. At the early stage of the disease, only some symptoms may appear. There may also be periods of improvement and deterioration. As multiple sclerosis progresses, the number and severity of symptoms usually increase. But the most common signs that often bother patients are:
- attacks of dizziness;
- tremors in the hands;
- unsteadiness of gait;
- muscle weakness;
- deterioration of coordination of movements;
- decreased sensitivity;
- burning sensation, tingling, numbness of fingers;
- urinary disorders;
- general weakness, apathy;
- speech impairment;
- issues with thinking;
- a feeling of extreme fatigue and sleep disturbance.
Stages of Multiple Sclerosis
Like many other neurological diseases, multiple sclerosis disease has different stages of development. They classify from lighter to more complex. To know what stage you have, the doctor evaluates the disease’s symptoms and course. For this, neurologists conduct all necessary research and testing. Based on symptoms, they diagnose the stage of the disease.
The very first one is when indicators deteriorate and improve alternately. A phase of progression may follow this. During it, the signs become more and more noticeable and unstable. The final stage is the most challenging. In it, the symptoms stop appearing, and the condition stops. But despite this, the patient’s state does not improve. The disease still exists and makes itself felt.
The use of effective progressive MS treatment can help control this disorder. But it is vital not to miss a single day of treatment and to follow the treatment plan strictly. It is to prevent the transition of the infection to a severe stage. So now let’s analyze the stages of multiple sclerosis in more detail:
Stage 1: Clinically Isolated Syndrome
It is the first episode of neurological symptoms in a person. A single case of brain or spinal cord inflammation most often characterizes it. Symptoms may include loss of balance, limb weakness, or blurred vision. Often, CSI may not recur and may be indistinguishable from later episodes of MS. Early diagnosis can help reduce the risk of this progressing to the next stage.
Stage 2: Relapsing-Remitting MS
Based on our observations, this is the most common stage of multiple sclerosis. Periodic exacerbations characterize this form of the disease. They alternate with periods of decline in symptoms. It includes decreased vision, a sharp decrease in body sensitivity, and so on. Exacerbations can last from several days to months. They often occur after stress, infection, or hypothermia. Relapsing-remitting MS usually does not lead to total disability.
Stage 3: Secondary Progressive MS
This stage is associated with a decrease in the ability of the brain to compensate for changes occurring in the body. With this type, there are various unexpected outbreaks of symptoms. But during periods when they stop, the degree of disability of the patient does not improve. Symptoms may include incoordination, weakness, and vision problems. As this stage is severe enough, it needs progressive MS treatment.
Stage 4: Primary Progressive MS
In this rare type, there is a gradual deterioration without periods of remission. According to our research, this is the rarest stage of multiple sclerosis disease. It happens in 10-20% of cases. During it, patients may have various symptoms. It involves loss of balance, a feeling of body cooling, and movement problems. This form of illness develops more slowly compared to other stages. But its consequences can be more serious.
Progressive MS Treatment
There is one important thing you should know about treating MS. It is that doctors manage it individually. The illness can manifest itself variously for everyone. After all, each person’s immunity works differently. Accordingly, manifestations of MS are unique to each patient.
At the initial diagnosis, medics can recommend hospitalization to the patient. It is to assess their condition as accurately as possible. After it, they can better select an effective treatment. Patients can be prescribed:
- Hormonal therapy. This is to reduce inflammation during an exacerbation of MS.
- Cytostatic drugs. This is to stop the division of lymphocytes;
- β-interferons. This is to reduce the frequency of relapses.
- Immunosuppressants. This is to suppress the immune system to reduce the activity of MS.
- Immunomodulators. This is to regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation.
- Antispasmodics. This is to relieve muscle spasms and relieve seizure symptoms.
- Muscle relaxants. This is to reduce seizures.
- Anticholinesterase drugs and others. This is to increase acetylcholine levels to improve muscle control.
Remember that all these treatment methods are defined strictly according to your doctor’s prescription. Methods of diagnosis and progressive MS treatment are various for everyone!
Facts About Multiple Sclerosis
When faced with a disease, it is interesting to delve deeper into it. So you can understand more about the manifestation and the reason for its appearance. It is especially true for multiple sclerosis. Scientists are still studying this disease. Thus, it remains a complex puzzle for scientists. But despite all this, they still have some proven facts about it.
Knowledge about this disease is constantly expanding. It gives hope for the development of new, effective methods of treatment for patients. Despite the difficulties in the emergence of MS, science continues to move forward. They try to find ways of decreasing its signs. Also, they learn interesting things about it to know more about it. So let’s look at some interesting facts about multiple sclerosis from scientists:
1. MS is difficult to detect
You are wrong if you think that multiple sclerosis will make itself known to you. In fact, this infection is very insidious. After all, you may not even suspect its existence in yourself due to hidden symptoms. It is painless and appears only in the late stages, with pronounced symptoms. Thus, leading a healthy lifestyle and periodically undergoing preventive examinations is essential.
2. The risk of developing MS depends on geographic location
It is another exciting and, at that time, little-known fact about multiple sclerosis disease. After conducting experiments, neurologists found that this disease occurs more often in countries with a temperate climate, such as Europe and North America. Other countries with warmer temperatures have a low MS appearance. Thus, early identification of factors like geographic location is vital to prevent MS.
3. Most people with MS do not become disabled
Sometimes people think that this illness makes patients dysfunctional. But most people living with MS do not become disabled. Two-thirds of people with MS can walk independently. But many need help with balance. So, most patients can live a full life with proper treatment and support.
4. Most people diagnosed with MS are between 20 and 50 years old
Most people with multiple sclerosis are usually between 20 and 50. It means that MS is usually detected in a person of working age. And it does not depend on whether you are a woman or a man. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender. Early identification and care of MS are essential to reduce the signs of the illness.
Sometimes human life can face difficult circumstances due to multiple sclerosis disease. And unfortunately, there are no treatments that allow you to defeat it ultimately. But fortunately, some highly qualified neurologists help to cope with this.
Lone Star Neurologists are those who know how to cope with neurological ailments. Based on our experience, we understand what MS is and how to deal with it. Thanks to our innovative medical examinations, we can examine your body. Based on this, we will help you fight the disorder and become healthier daily.
Why is MS unique?
It is unique because this disease specifically targets the central nervous system. MS primarily attacks the myelin sheath. The more the immune system attacks, the more severe the symptoms in a person. Accordingly, the disease can begin to progress at any time.
Can I lead a normal life with MS?
Of course. Patients can live fulfilling lives with proper treatment and support. It is crucial to work closely with healthcare professionals. It is to develop a personalized care plan tailored to your specific needs. Also, follow a balanced diet and manage stress for good well-being.
Why is MS so common now?
Lifestyle changes and environmental factors might be contributing to the increased prevalence. Changes in population demographics, such as an aging population, could also influence it. As people live longer, the likelihood of developing MS may appear higher.
Does MS get worse with age?
The progression of multiple sclerosis varies widely between individuals. Some may experience a more aggressive form of the disease as they age. Others may have a slower or more stable course. Thus, everything depends on how you treat it and what stage of the condition you have
Should I tell people I have MS?
It is your personal choice. If you want to get support, you can tell your relatives and friends about it. If you are emotionally not ready to spread this info, you have the right not to tell anyone about it.