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Multiple sclerosis: types, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the central nervous system is affected by the brain and spinal cord. Myelin is a layer that surrounds neurons with a protective function, so when it is involved, the nerve impulses cease to function normally. When the myelin disappears in some areas, they leave scars called sclerosis. These areas affected by lack of myelin and sclerosis are demyelination plaques. The disorder produced in nerve impulses leads to the appearance of symptoms that impair speech, coordination of movements, and other problems related to the central nervous system. If you want to know more about this disease that affects more than two million people worldwide, especially women, at FastlyHealwe, explain the types, symptoms, and treatments of multiple sclerosis.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

There are different types of multiple sclerosis:

  • Recurrent-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is the most common type and is characterized by the absence of symptoms at its onset, although there are already lesions in the central nervous system. Visible signs appear alongside flare-ups that can occur at any time unpredictably and disappear later.
  • Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. The disease is considered secondary progressive when it involves a greater degree of disability between each outbreak. Its onset usually occurs after a relapsing-remitting flare, although not all people who have experienced the initial stage have to experience this type of multiple sclerosis.
  • Primary progressive multiple sclerosis. It is characterized by a progressive worsening that does not usually stop so that no outbreaks are detected. It is an uncommon type and is produced constantly, being able to present stages of more stability.
  • Recurrent progressive multiple sclerosis. The disease progresses progressively, and its symptoms are evident from its onset. The patient usually presents a continuous progression between flare-ups in this type of multiple sclerosis.

Symptoms related to multiple sclerosis

Symptoms vary depending on the damage to the central nervous system, and they can affect differently in each person. On the other hand, some symptoms disappear after remission while others remain.

  • Vision disorders. Blurred, double vision, eye twitching, or even vision loss.
  • Fatigue. Tiredness is more extraordinary than usual without being related to physical effort.
  • Sensitivity. Numbness, a sensation of heat and sharpness, muscle pain, etc.
  • Speech disorders. Worsening fluency when speaking
  • Coordination problems. Lack of coordination in movements and difficulty in maintaining balance, dizziness, and vertigo.
  • Sexuality problems. Less excitement and pleasure and even helplessness.
  • Spasticity. Stiff and tense muscles, permanently contracted.
  • Alterations in the bladder. Increased frequency of urination.
  • Intestinal problems. Constipation and sometimes loss of toilet training.
  • Cognitive and emotional disorders. Short-term memory loss, in addition to diseases that affect concentration and reasoning.

Available Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, palliative treatments are applied to control and reduce symptoms. Some medications can delay the development of the disease and reduce the intensity of the outbreaks.

The cortisone helps control acute symptoms in short periods decreasing their length, while interferon reduces the frequency with which it rests with outbreaks. Those intolerant to corticosteroids can be treated with plasmapheresis, although its efficacy has not been fully demonstrated.

On the other hand, some drugs, such as interferon, azathioprine, and glatiramer acetate, help prevent long-term disability.

The objective of symptomatic treatment is to alleviate the symptoms, overcome the sequelae and control the evolution of the disease.

Different treatments help people with MS see an improvement in their quality of life. However, there are a series of inevitable and intrinsic changes to the disease that must be assumed and to which both the affected person and their family must learn to adapt.

Expectations of Multiple Sclerosis

Even though multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease and does not present a cure, expectations regarding quality of life are optimistic depending on the type of sclerosis. Those young people, who do not have frequent outbreaks and are stable in the periods between each episode, have a greater possibility of carrying out a routine in their day-to-day lives. Also, sex is an essential factor in the probability of suffering from the disease and its development; women are more likely to suffer from multiple sclerosis. However, it has also been shown that women experience a benign disease growth compared to men, who tend to have more severe multiple sclerosis. Also, both sexes suffer from symptoms differently. For example, men suffer from fewer but more damaging inflammatory lesions than women. In addition, age is also a factor that influences prognosis since it has been shown that young people tend to develop a less aggressive type of multiple sclerosis than people over 50 years of age.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Multiple Sclerosis: types, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category.

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