Multiple Sclerosis - Overview

Health Window

WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that causes vision problems, numbness and tingling, muscle weakness and other problems. It happens when the body's infection-fighting cells attack and damage nerve cells and the connections in the brain and spinal cord. When the body attacks its own cells, it is called an "autoimmune response“.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The condition can cause many symptoms, but not everyone with MS has all symptoms. In general, because the condition affects the brain and all its connections, symptoms can be somewhat vague. MS symptoms can include:

  • Numbness, tingling, and feeling "pins and needles"
  • Muscle weakness or cramps, which can cause you to drop things or fall
  • Vision problems, eye pain and strange eye movements
  • Feeling dizzy or off-balance, which can cause you to fall
  • Trouble walking or speaking
  • Problems controlling your bowels or bladder
  • Sex problems
  • Sensitivity to heat, that can make symptoms worse
  • Trouble thinking clearly

Most people with MS only present with a few of the symptoms.  Severe forms of MS can have most or all of them. It differs from person to person.

The exact cause of MS is not known, but often it runs in families. There are many different types of medication that your doctor might prescribe, depending on your specific symptoms. Using this medication as directed is the best way to improve your quality of life and ensure that you can be happy and healthy for as long as possible. 

Your doctor might recommend sessions with a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Follow their advice and instructions as closely as possible as this can help you to remain functional and strong. 

Speak to your doctor if you need more information.

 

Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

References: Oh J, Vidal-Jordana A, Montalban X. Multiple sclerosis: clinical aspects. Curr Opin Neurol. 2018 Dec;31(6):752-759.


Content Disclaimer:
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Dis-Chem website or app are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All of the content provided on the website, are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content is not intended to establish a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. You understand and acknowledge that you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. You also understand and acknowledge that you should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained in or transmitted through the website. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this website or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this website or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.
Back to top