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Multiple Sclerosis

Uploaded by mumsa1 on Apr 26, 2012

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological condition which can occur at any age.

In this article:

What is multiple sclerosis?

Symptoms

Causes

Diagnosis

Effect on your life

Treatment

How Chemist Online can help

Advice & Support

What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a disease which affects your muscle control and therefore affects your overall mobility. This is due to problems with your nerves. It is mainly the nerves in your brain and spinal chord (i.e. the process in which nerves send signals or ‘messages’ between your brain and spinal chord and to other parts of your body) which are the root cause of symptoms. Multiple sclerosis can also impact upon your sense of balance and your vision.

An autoimmune disease (that is, a disease where the body ‘attacks’ itself), multiple sclerosis develops when the outer casing around your nerves is attacked by your immune system. The medical term for your nerves’ outer casing is myelin sheaths. As your immune system attacks these sheaths they become irreparably damaged (through becoming scarred and hardened), and as a result, the sending of signals around your body is interrupted – the messages you try to send to your muscles and limbs are not received properly.

Multiple sclerosis is more common in women than men.

Symptoms
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:

Skin numbness

A tingling feeling in parts of the skin

Vision problems (e.g., loss of vision, blurred vision and/or double vision)

Mobility problems

Co-ordination problems

Loss of sense of touch

Speech problems

Difficulty swallowing

Muscle paralysis

Muscle spasms

Muscle tremors

Limb weakness and pain

Dizziness and disorientation

Constipation

Incontinence

Tiredness (and sometimes overwhelming fatigue)

Erectile dysfunction in men

Cognitive impairment

Anxiety

Memory problems

Also, many people with multiple sclerosis suffer from depression. Please see contact details for the Depression Alliance in the Advice & Support section at the foot of this article.

Note: Depending upon the individual, symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary and range from mild to severe.

Causes
Despite worldwide medical research, the exact cause of multiple sclerosis is as yet unknown. However, some healthcare professionals suggest that the disease may be caused by environmental factors – your immune system attacks your own body due to there being a virus or bacteria present which your have ‘picked up’ through being in certain environments or disposed to certain substances.

Also, it may be possible to have a genetic predisposition to developing multiple sclerosis. That is, you have a family history of it and therefore the heightened risk of you developing the condition has been passed down. However, this is not a common cause.

Diagnosis
If you are suffering from the aforementioned...

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Uploaded by:   mumsa1

Date:   04/26/2012

Category:   Medicine

Length:   4 pages (813 words)

Views:   3355

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