Our spinal cord and nerve fibers in the brain are protected and coated with Myelin, a fatty substance. It acts like a strong insulation. Multiple Sclerosis refers to such a condition wherein Myelin is damaged. It leads to adverse effects on the messages that travel along the nerves and are affected with blockage or slowing down. Damaged myelin creates hurdles for effective communication between the brain and other parts of the body. This disorder is considered as an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues.

Symptoms – Spinal cord and the brain are affected in adverse manners because of Multiple Sclerosis. People affected with this disease usually develop numbness, tingling and general weakness. They suffer from blurred vision too. Hardened muscles, problems in thinking and urinary tract disorders are also the symptoms of MS. Few patients may not experience any symptoms while some may suffer from great difficulty in walking or it may become impossible. People with MS may also suffer from paralysis, usually in the legs. Irregular bowel movements, sexual dysfunction, mood swings or forgetfulness are also the symptoms of MS. Depression and Epilepsy is also associated with this disease. Dizziness, slurred speech and electric-shock sensations are also quite common amongst the patients.

Causes – Several factors including age are responsible for MS to occur. People between fifteen and sixty years of age are more vulnerable to this problem. Women are more exposed to this problem. Family history may also be one of the causes. Many viruses including Epstein-Barr may cause MS that can occur because of temperate climates. Racial aspects also play a great role as Northern European people are more prone to this problem as compared to the residents of Asia, Native America or Africa. Persons suffering from diabetes, thyroid diseases or inflammatory bowel problems may fall victim to MS. Smoking is also one of the strong causes of this disease.   

Diagnosis and Treatment – The doctor may conduct blood test to assess infection. Lumbar puncture, i.e. the spinal tap may also be necessitated in certain cases of MS. Few patients may have to undergo MRI too. Mild symptoms of MS may not require any treatment while use of corticosteroids including oral intravenous and prednisone may give good results. It helps to reduce inflammation of nerves. Plasma exchange, i.e. plasmapheresis is also suggested for many patients suffering from MS. Patients may take Beta interferons, Glatiramer acetate, Dimethyl fumarate, Fingolimod, Natalizumabmmm, Teriflunomide or  Mitoxantrone with the consent of the doctor as these medicines may be associated with side effects. Exercising involving strengthening and stretching are also helpful for MS patients. Muscle relaxants including tizanidine and baclofen may also give sufficient relief from the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.     
Those affected with this problem are advised to take sufficient rest that helps to restore the energy levels to great extent. Simple exercises, long walks and sticking to physical activities work wonders. Staying hydrated and cool are also the best remedies to stay away from MS. The disease can be managed with good diets. Stress should be avoided at all costs.

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