Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and eye nerve. In MS disease, immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, (myelin is a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers of the central nervous system). Myelin helps transfer electrical impulses along the nervous system. If myelin is damaged the impulses slow down, thus may lead to nerve dysfunction. The damaged myelin forms scars tissue (sclerosis). MS can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, as well as other basic body functions. The disease can be mild, moderate or severe.
TYPES OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
- Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS):
This type is not very common. The most common symptoms of this type of MS are weak legs and trouble walking. It is also keeps progressing after its diagnosis and causes early handicapping because it does not respond much to treatment.
- Remitting Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS):
This is the most common form of MS , in this course acute exacerbation ( also known as relapse, attack or flare up ) are followed by remission. Remission is the period when the patient has few or no symptoms. It can last weeks, months or longer.
- Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS):
The second phase of RRMS; which is a constant progressive worsening of symptoms with or without superimposed relapses; however, treatments may delay this phase.
- Progressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (PRMS):
A progressive course from the onset, sometimes combined with occasional acute symptom flare ups.
Causes for multiple sclerosis
- Genetic causes: If one of the family members has MS, this may increase the incidence of the disease in the rest of the family.
- Gender: multiple sclerosis affects women more than men.
- Pollutants: virus infection increases the incidence of multiple sclerosis and is considered one of the causes for Multiple sclerosis.
- Other diseases: patients with diabetes type 1 or thyroid disease (such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) are more at risk to have multiple sclerosis.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary greatly from one patient to another. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or even at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms. However, common symptoms include:
- Trouble walking that can develop to paralysis.
- Chronic aching pain.
- Blurred or double vision.
- Sexual problems.
- Fatigue – feeling very tired during the day.
- Numbness and tingling.
- Hardness of muscles or muscle spasm is a common symptom for MS.
- Mild cognitive and memory difficulties.
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction. The disability to control urination and excretion in addition to dyspepsia and constipation.
- Depression and difficulty of speech.
- Difficulty completing simple tasks like unbuttoning the shirt, writing and others.
- Numbness of the limbs, pain, and also lack of sense of the peripherals.
- Dizziness and imbalance.