10 Multiple Sclerosis FAQs
If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, chances are there are many questions going through your mind. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding multiple sclerosis according to the National MS Society.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) results when the body’s immune system starts to attack and destroy myelin, the protecting coating on nerve fibers in the brain and/or spinal cord of the central nervous system.
Anyone of any age, gender, or ethnic group can get MS, but women are two to three times more likely to have MS. Caucasian people with northern European ancestry are also more likely to get MS than other ethnic groups.
It is estimated that about 2.3 million people in the world have been diagnosed with MS. However, there could be many more who have MS but have yet to be diagnosed.
The commons symptoms of MS include fatigue; numbness and tingling of the face, body, arms and legs; muscle spasms; walking difficulties; bladder problems; bowel problems; vision problems; cognitive changes, and others.
Not all patients will end up without the use of their legs. In fact, around 60% of MS patients will continue to be able to walk but may need some assistance, such as a walking stick, wheelchair or mobility scooter.
Medical advances, research, and better diagnosis has resulted in MS patients living much longer. Typically the life-expectancy of an MS patients is about seven years less than non-patients.
You cannot catch MS from someone else, nor give your MS to anyone. Research into whether or not MS is an inherited disease is still ongoing. Some studies suggest that genetics may be a factor.
Sadly, no. There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis but there are many treatments and medications available to help manage symptoms.
A range of disease-modifying drugs are available to help lengthen the duration of remission and reduce the severity and frequency of MS flare-ups.
Early symptoms of MS may be confused with other diseases that affect the central nervous system, or symptoms may be so low in severity that they are overlooked. In addition, there is no single test to diagnosis multiple sclerosis. A thorough physical and neurologic examination including imaging and other tests, combined with a careful study of a patient’s medical history, is needed.
Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.