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Multiple Sclerosis

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FAQ's For Multiple Sclerosis

Onset of MS usually begins between the ages of 20 to 40.

There are no specific tests used to give an MS diagnosis. Usually, it is done by ruling out all other possibilities having the same symptoms. Common methods used in multiple sclerosis diagnosis are:
Blood tests
Spinal tap or lumbar puncture
MRI scan
Evoked potential tests

The first signs and symptoms of MS are fatigue, numbness and tingling, vision problems and mobility problems.

The pain sensations feel like burning, stabbing, shooting or squeezing pain. Neuropathic pain and numbness or tingling are also common.

The safest drugs to use for the treatment of MS are Tecfidera, Gilenya, and Aubagio.

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease wherein the immune system attacks the myelin (protective sheath) covering nerve fibres, disrupting messages between the brain, spinal cord, and the rest of the body. In the long run, it causes permanent damage and deterioration of the nerves.

MS symptoms include:
• Numbness in the legs or trunk which typically occurs one limb at a time, or affects one side of the body at a time
• Lhermitte sign—Electric shock-like sensations that occur in with certain neck movements
• Lack of coordination, unsteady gait and tremors
• Partial or complete loss of vision in one eye at a time
• Pain during eye movement
• Double or blurred vision
• Slurred speech
• Fatigue and dizziness
• Pain and tingling in parts of the body
• Problems with normal sexual, bowel or bladder function

The exact causes of multiple sclerosis are unknown. Many believe that environmental and genetic factors are responsible. Some risk factors include:
Age (Onset occurs between 20-40 years of age)
Sex (Women are 2-3 times more likely to get MS)
Family history (MS has genetic links)
Race (Those having Northern European descent are at highest risk)
Certain infections
Climate (Common in countries having temperate climate like the United States, Canada, New Zealand, etc)
Vitamin D
Certain autoimmune diseases
Smoking

There are no specific tests used to give an MS diagnosis. Usually, it is done by ruling out all other possibilities having the same symptoms. Common methods used in multiple sclerosis diagnosis are:
Blood tests
Spinal tap or lumbar puncture
MRI scan
Evoked potential tests

As there is no cure, MS treatment involves easing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. Treatment for MS attacks can be done through plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) and corticosteroids. Treatments to slow down progression include:
Interferon-beta medications
Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone, Glatopa)
Fingolimod (Gilenya)
Dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
Diroximel fumarate (Vumerity)
Teriflunomide (Aubagio)
Siponimod (Mayzent)
Cladribine (Mavenclad)
Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus)
Natalizumab (Tysabri)
Alemtuzumab (Campath, Lemtrada)

Besides this, there are several alternative forms of treatment such as:
Physical therapy
Muscle relaxants
Medications to reduce fatigue like Amantadine (Gocovri, Osmolex), modafinil (Provigil) and methylphenidate (Ritalin)

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