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World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2018: All You Need To Know About Multiple Sclerosis

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2018: Multiple sclerosis is a condition in which the immune system attacks myelin, the protective sheath which covers nerve fibres.

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2018: All You Need To Know About Multiple Sclerosis

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2018: The condition is more common in women than men

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Severe cases of multiple sclerosis result in loss of the ability to walk
  2. Multiple sclerosis cannot be cured
  3. Genetic and environmental factors can increase risk of multiple sclerosis

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2018 falls on May 30. The day is observed every year in order to raise awareness about the condition which is incurable. Multiple sclerosis is a disease which disables the brain and the spinal cord (the central nervous system). It is a condition in which the immune system attacks myelin, the protective sheath which covers nerve fibres. This causes communication problems between your brain and rest of the body. As the problem persists, it can cause the nerves to deteriorate and be damaged permanently. The signs and symptoms that you have with multiple sclerosis will depend on the amount of nerve damage and the nerves which have been affected. Severe cases of multiple sclerosis result in loss of the ability to walk independently. Some cases also result in long periods of remission without any symptoms. While multiple sclerosis cannot be cured, the treatments can help in speedy recovery from attacks, change the course of the disease and manage symptoms in a more effective way.
 

multiple sclerosis

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 2018: The day is observed on May 25
Photo Credit: iStock


Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from person to person, depending on the course of the disease and the location of the nerves affected by it. Common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include numb or week limbs. Numbness or weakness usually happens on one side of the body in one or more limbs. Multiple sclerosis can also cause either partial or complete loss of vision in one eye at a time. It may also cause pain in eye movement. Multiple sclerosis affects eyes by causing double vision for a prolonged period of time. Multiple sclerosis tends to create tingling or pain in different parts of the body.

Also read: How To Treat Your Pinched Nerve?
 

eyes

Multiple sclerosis can affect vision
Photo Credit: iStock

You might also feel tingling or pain in different parts of body. Sensation of electric shocks occurs while moving the neck, especially when bending the neck forward. You might also experience tremors, unsteady gait and lack of coordination. Fatigue, slurred speech, dizziness and problems with functioning of the bowel and bladder are other symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Also read: Freezing This Nerve Will Help Mildly Obese People Lose Weight! Know More

Common complications of multiple sclerosis include muscle stiffness or spasms, paralysis in legs, problems with bladder and bowel. The condition can lead to changes in the mental state, including mood swings and even forgetfulness. Depression and epilepsy are other common complications of multiple sclerosis.
 

multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis can cause problems with mobility and gait
Photo Credit: iStock

Causes and risk factors of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis causes are mostly unknown because it is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system begins to attach its own tissues. When the immune system destroys myelin, it can lead to multiple sclerosis. Myelin is quite like the insulation coating on electrical wired. Any damage causes to myelin results in exposure of the nerve fibre, wherein the messages that travel along the nerve either slow down or get blocked. The nerve itself can damaged as well. A combination of environmental factors and genetics too can cause multiple sclerosis.

Also read: 7 Best Natural Remedies To Fix A Pinched Nerve In Neck

Age is a common risk factor for people who are suffering from multiple sclerosis. While it can happen at any age, people who are most prone to it are the ones between the ages of 15 to 80. Women are at higher risks of developing multiple sclerosis as compared to men. The ones who have it in family history are too prone to risks of the condition. Autoimmune diseases such as thyroid, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease can increase risks of multiple sclerosis.

Smoking can contribute to increased risks of multiple sclerosis.
 

multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis can cause fatigue
Photo Credit: iStock

Course of multiple sclerosis

Most multiple sclerosis patients have a relapsing-remitting disease discourse. New symptoms or relapses are experienced over a period of few days or weeks, which usually improve partially or completely. Relapses are followed by quiet period of the disease remission which can last for several months or even years. Any increase in body temperature can further worsen symptoms of multiple sclerosis. But this cannot be considered as a disease relapse. Around 60-70% of people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis develop a steady progression of symptoms.

If the symptoms worsen, it can cause problems with mobility and gait. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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