Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, disabling disease of the central nervous system. The disease causes inflammation, destruction, and scarring of the sheath that covers nerve fibers, called myelin, in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, electrical signals from the brain are slowed or blocked from reaching the eyes, muscles, and other parts of the body.
There are several types of MS:
and Relapsing-remitting MSâ€”Symptoms suddenly reappear every few years, last for a few weeks or months, then go back into remission. Symptoms sometimes worsen with each occurrence.
and Primary progressive MSâ€”Symptoms gradually worsen after symptoms first appear. Relapses and remissions usually do not occur.
and Secondary progressive MSâ€”after years of relapses and remissions, symptoms suddenly begin to progressively worsen.
and Progressive relapsing MSâ€”Symptoms gradually worsen after symptoms first appear. One or more relapses may also occur.
What Causes MS:
Malfunction of the body’s immune system seems to be the cause of MS, but the exact cause of this malfunction is unknown.
The following conditions may contribute to MS:
and Viral or other infection
and Genetic factors (heredity)
and Environmental factors
and Degeneration of parts of the nervous system
ENT and Other Symptoms:
Vertigo, Unsteadiness, Hearing Loss, Anosmia, and Dysphagia are the common ENT symptoms presented to an ENT Surgeon.
Also other symptoms occur in varying severity: Numbness or tingling in the face or limbs, Impaired vision in one or both eyes, Eye pain, Fatigue,Muscle stiffness, Muscle spasms, Muscle weakness, Trouble walking or maintaining balance, and Weakness in one or more limbs .
Bladder problems including: Urgency, Hesitancy, Incomplete emptying, Incontinence.
Bowel problems, including constipation.
Forgetfulness, memory loss, and confusion.
Difficulty concentrating or solving problems.
Factors that may trigger or worsen symptoms include:
Heat including: Hot weather, hot baths or showers, Fever, Overexertion and Infection
After taking a detailed medical history, and perform a physical examination.
Tests may include:
and MRI scan to check for damage to the myelin sheath of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord (see picture)
and Evoked potentialsâ€”a test that records the electrical responses evoked after a sensory stimulus
.Lumbar Puncture and examination of spinal fluid
Medications may include:
and Corticosteroidsâ€”to reduce nerve tissue inflammation and shorten MS flare-ups
and Interferon beta (a protein that naturally occurs in the body)â€”used to suppress the immune system
and Immunosuppressive drugs such as: Mitoxantrone,Azathioprine ,Methotrexate
and Intravenous immunoglobulin
and Muscle relaxantsâ€”to treat muscle spasms or stiffness
and Other drugs to treat: Fatigue,Depression,Pain and Bladder or bowel problems
Physio Therapy and Lifestyle Changes
Therapies and changes may include: Regular moderate exercise – swimming is especially beneficial. Physical therapy to help maintain muscle strength and tone, dexterity, and walking ability. Herbal Massage. Stress reduction techniques etc.
“Live day to day, you can’t alter fate,
If you’re tired, go to sleep, the washing can wait,
One thing I know, and I hope you can see;
I’ve got MS, but it’s not having me! (From the diary of Gael Finch)