Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerves called myelin sheath. If this outer covering is damaged, then the nerves are unable to conduct electrical signals correctly and efficiently from the brain. These damaged areas produce scars, or lesions, that may affect the function of the brain stem, spinal cord, cerebellum, white matter, and optic nerves. This disease affects individuals differently. The cause of MS is still unknown.
There are four types of MS:
- Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) – This is described as the first episode of an MS attack that will last at least 24 hours.
- Relapse-remitting MS (RRMS) – This involves episodes with increasing symptoms, followed by periods of remission. This is the most common type of MS.
- Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) – Symptoms worsen without periods of remission. This affects about 15% of people with MS.
- Secondary progressive MS (SPMM) – Episodes will occur with remission following in the early stages, however, will then start to progress and worsen steadily.
Symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness which may result in gait and mobility changes
- Tingling and numbness in extremities
- Bladder and bowel problems
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Vision problems
- Tremors and muscle spasms or spasticity
- Emotional and learning problems
Risk Factors may include:
- Age – usually diagnosed between 20-40 years old
- Sex – More common in women
- Genetic factors
- Vitamin D and B deficiency
- Previous infections
Diagnosis of MS:
A medical doctor will perform several tests to confirm an MS diagnosis. An MRI of the brain and spinal cord will help detect any lesions. A spinal fluid analysis may be done to determine if there are antibodies from a previous infection. Evoked potential tests will be performed as well to measure the time it takes for the brain to respond to sensory stimulation. There is no cure for MS, however, there are several treatments to slow progression and relieve symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, contact us for a free consultation to see how therapy can help with your symptoms. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.