Multiple sclerosis can be challenging to monitor and measure due to its unpredictable nature. However, when the right combination of medication is used, it gets easier to assess the progression of the disease.
MEASURES TO ASSESS
Measures used to assess the disease come in handy when gauging whether medication is working or determining how controlled the MS is. The following are measures used to assess the progression of the disease:
Relapses - The number of relapses you have had in a year can help assess whether the right medication is being used or not. This mostly applies to the relapsing type of MS because of the fluctuating nature of the symptoms.
Physical disabilities - In MS physical functionality deteriorates gradually over time. Some simply start gradually losing function in their hands whereas others are unable to walk long distances. This can be frustrating and can affect your work and social life. The speed at which the disability develops also varies from person to person. In order to get the best outcome, if you notice any change or loss of function, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
MRI scan – You will likely need to get multiple brain scans done during the course of your disease. By comparing MRI scans over time, your doctor can assess whether your condition has progressed or not. This is why it is important to go for scans when needed and make an effort not to miss appointments.
MS is still erratic and unpredictable, even when using all of the above measures. The best way to way to ensure the best outcome is to adhere to your treatment as prescribed.
Consult your doctor as soon as you start experiencing new symptoms or if your symptoms start getting worse at a fast rate. For more assistance, contact your doctor.
Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window
Reference: Nicholas R, Rashid W. Multiple sclerosis. Am Fam Physician. 2013 May 15;87(10):712-4.