Multiple Sclerosis


Multiple Sclerosis Essay, Research Paper

Multiple Sclerosis


*MS is characterized by the presence of areas of demyelination

*T-cell predominant perivascular inflammation in the brain white matter

*Some axons may be spared from these pathological processes

Incidence and Prevalence

*An estimated 2,500,000 people in the world have multiple sclerosis

*MS is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system in young adults

*Diagnosis of MS is generally between 20 and 40 years of age, although onset may be earlier

Causal Factors

*Viral and autoimmune etiologies are postulated

*Genetic and environmental factors are known to contribute to MS

*A specific cause for this disease is not identified

Signs and Symptoms

*Early symptoms may include:

? numbness

? paresthesia

? mono- or paraparesis

? double vision

? optic neuritis

? ataxia

? bladder control problems

*Subsequent symptoms also include:

? more prominent upper motor neuron signs

? increased spasticity

? increasing para- or quardriparesis

? Vertigo, incoordination and other cerebellar problems

? depression, emotional liability

? abnormalities in gait

? fatigue and pain


*fatigue is a major problem for those with MS

*persons with MS generally have a low tolerance for heat

*MS can cause severe mobility problems


*MS is classified according to its clinical course into several categories:


?relapsing-remitting (the most common variant)


?primary progressive and secondary progressive


*life span is not significantly affected by MS

*there is no drug that can cure MS, but treatments are now available which can modify the course of the disease

Psychosocial Issues

*depression is often a symptom of MS

*because of the late onset, people with MS have to adapt to a new life

*many of these people have trouble adjusting to the use of wheelchairs, braces and crutches

*increased sexual dysfunction

*bowel and bladder control problems

*decreased mobility leaves many people with MS feeling left out and different

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