Multiple Sclerosis MANAGEMENT
Firstly let us know about the term sclerosis which means a disease in which immune system eats away the protective covering of the nerves.
The CNS is covered of three layers of protective coverings called as meninges a greek word which means membrane. The outer dura matter, middle arachnoid membrane and the inner pia matter. As the main function of these is to protect the brain and spinal cord.
The multiple sclerosis result in nerve damage which disrupts communication between the brain and body. Multiple sclerosis is a potentially disabling disease of brain and spinal cord. In this sclerosis the immune system attack the protective sheath myelin that cover nerve fibre and cause communication between brain and rest of the body. This disease can lead to permanent damage or deterioration of nerves. Multiple sclerosis which is an long-lasting disease that affect brain, spinal cord, optic nerves in eyes which cause problems in vision, balance, muscle movements and other body movements.
Multiple sclerosis occur when the immune system attacks the family material called Myelin, which wrap the nerve fibre and protect them. By the damage to this outer sheath scar tissue may be formed.
WHAT IS MYELIN SHEATH?
This myelin is an sheath or layer that forms around the nerves, including brain and spinal cord which is made of proteins and fatty substances, myelin allows electrical impulses to transmit fast and efficiently along the nerve cells. This myelin is made of two different types of support cells, called oligodendrocytes wrap their branch-like extensions around axons to create a myelin sheath. The nerves out side spinal cord, schwann cells produce myelin.
The damage means brain can’t send signals to the body which may result in symptoms like:
- Poor bladder or bowel control
- Muscle weakness or spasms
- Trouble walking
- Blurred or double vision
- Numbness and tingling
- Tremor, lack of coordination
- Electric-shock sensation that occur with neck movements.
- Slurred speech
Signs and symptoms of Multiple sclerosis vary widely and depend on amount of nerve damage, ability to walk independently some may experience long periods of remission without any symptoms. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, treatment can help in speed recovery from attacks and symptoms. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis often starts between age 20 and 40.
WHAT ARE CAUSES FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?
The exact cause for this multiple sclerosis is unknown. It is been considered as an auto immune disease in which our immune system attacks our own body. In this multiple sclerosis , the immune malfunction destroy the fatty substance that surrounds nerve fibres in brain and spinal cord to protect them.
Viral infection like Epstein-Barr virus or human herpes virus 6 which make the immune system stop working normally. This infection may trigger the disease or cause relapse.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
- Family history
- Vitamin D
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?
People with this multiple sclerosis may also develop
- Multiple stiffness or spasm
- Paralysis mostly legs
- Problems with bowel, bladder or sexual function
- Mood swings
- Mental changes such as loss of memory (forgetfulness)
DIAGNOSIS FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
There are no specific diagnostic tests for multiple sclerosis. It is hard to diagnose multiple sclerosis, since the symptoms may be same as many other nerve related disorders.
Some of the tests used to diagnose multiple sclerosis are:
- Blood test
- Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)
- Evoked potential tests
- Checks balance, coordination , vision and other functions to estimate the working of nerves.
BLOOD TEST these help to rule out diseases with symptoms same as multiple sclerosis. The biomarkers to check the multiple sclerosis are still under development.
SPINAL TAP in this small sample of fluid is removed from the spinal canal for testing purpose. This sample may show abnormalities in antibodies associated with multiple sclerosis . This test also helps in ruling out other disorders related to nerves.
MRI this reveals areas of multiple sclerosis on brain and spinal cord.
EVOKED POTENTIAL TESTS, which record electrical signals produced by nervous system in response to stimuli.
LIFE STYLE AND HOME REMEDIES FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS:
- TAKE REST: Look at the sleep habits to make sure that you are getting best possible sleep.
- EXERCISE: For mild to moderate multiple sclerosis, regular exercise helps in improving strength and muscle tone, balance and coordination.
- EAT BALANCED DIET: Vitamin D have potential benefit for people with multiple sclerosis.
- RELIEVE STRESS: Stress trigger or worsen the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Yoga, meditation, massage, deep breathing may help to relieve the stress.
” BE HEALTHY “
M KEERTHI KUMARI