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Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that results in the malfunctioning of the brain’s communication with the nerves. The disease occurs when protective coating around the nerves degrades. This coating, called myelin, is essential for preserving nerve endings and other parts of the nervous system free of damage.

It is not known precisely why myelin suffers damages, but doctors suggest that the immune system may attack myelin for unknown reasons. As myelin is damaged, the nerves’ communication with the brain is impaired. This results in a range of problems ranging from lack of feeling in certain body parts to total immobility.

Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis

Diagnosing multiple sclerosis is usually based on the suffering of common symptoms. If you or a loved one have been experiencing any of these effects, you might need to consult with a doctor:

  • Numbness in the fingers, face, or other body parts
  • Weakness in the legs or hands
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Bowel malfunctions
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Slurring of the speech

To diagnose multiple sclerosis, a complete neurological examination may be necessary. The diagnosis process might include a lumbar puncture test of the cerebrospinal fluid along with a brain MRI scan. The later is used to detect lesions correlated with multiple sclerosis.

Due to the unclear nature of why multiple sclerosis develops in some but not in others, pinpointing exact causes has proven elusive. People who exhibit symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be quite segak overall and show little other signs of ill health.

Environmental and genetic factors may also be at play, allowing the condition to develop from these independent factors. Progression of multiple sclerosis may take years to fully develop. Catching it early helps in mitigating the adverse effects of damage to the central nervous system.

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

One of the common disease patterns of multiple sclerosis is Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. This is a condition in which sclerosis symptoms appear for a while then go into remission, sometimes with no treatment at all. The symptoms may then reappear months or even years later.

Even though the symptoms may have gone away for a time, however, with multiple sclerosis, seeking treatment is essential. This is because later bouts of the condition may cause irreparable nerve damage.

Secondary and Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Primary and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis are stages of the disease in which multiple sclerosis gets progressively worse. With primary progressive multiple sclerosis, this happens gradually.

Whereas around 85% of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis have the relapsing-remitting type, about 10% of patients have primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

In the secondary progressive multiple sclerosis case, the symptoms and damage to the nervous system gets worse steadily. It is the toughest stage of the disease to treat. Catching the disease in the earlier stages allows for more effective medical options for treating multiple sclerosis.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for multiple sclerosis are best in the early stages of disease development. This is when there has been the least amount of damage to the nervous system, and interventions may put the disease into permanent remission.

For those suffering relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Ocrelizumab, also known as Ocrevus, may be prescribed by doctors. It reduces the chance of the disease progressing to worse stages.

Injectable medicines are also available that help reduce the progression of the disease. In cases where the disease has gotten to later stages, physical therapy and other medical treatments can help the body recover from attacks.