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What is MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)? Symptoms and Treatment

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What is MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)? Symptoms and Treatment

MS disease, or multiple sclerosis, is a chronic disease that can affect the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Illness; It causes problems with vision, balance, muscle control and other basic body functions. The severity of disease symptoms varies from patient to patient. Some people have very mild symptoms that do not require treatment. Others may even need help getting around and doing daily activities.

What is MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)? Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder that affects 3 million people worldwide and approximately 50-60 thousand people in Turkey. The disease is twice as common in women than in men; It is characterized by symptoms such as movement problems, weakness, balance disorder, partial paralysis, speech and vision impairment. MS disease, which occurs due to the physical destruction of the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves in the central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord, can slow down the transmission of stimuli from the nerves to the central nervous system or make them completely incapable of transmission. Some factors such as past infections, ethnicity, genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a role in the formation of the disease. To diagnose multiple sclerosis, which occurs in attacks, the person must be examined by a neurologist. In addition to the neurological examination, MS is diagnosed after neurological tests and radiological imaging. The disease can occur in almost any age range. However, the earlier the disease starts, the more damage it causes to the body. Therefore, diagnosing multiple sclerosis disease at an early stage and starting treatment increases the patient’s quality of life. Thus, the effects of the disease on the person can be minimized. MS disease treatment is applied in different ways. Before moving on to MS treatment methods, the frequently asked question “What is MS disease?” It is necessary to answer the question.

What is MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?

Communication between the person’s tissues and organs and the immune system is provided by the nerves in the nervous system. This nerve network, spread throughout the body, is surrounded by a layer defined as the myelin sheath. The myelin layer ensures that the electrical activity occurring in the nerves is transmitted quickly and without loss. Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease that affects many different parts of the central nervous system. In the presence of MS, which is a neurological disease, the person’s immune system damages or completely destroys the myelin sheath tissue surrounding the nerves. In this condition, which develops due to the immune system perceiving the myelin sheath as a foreign substance, the myelin sheath is damaged. Thus, problems such as interruption, distortion, slowdown or complete disappearance occur in the data carried by nerves from different parts of the body, or in other words, electrical impulses. Due to the inability to transfer data from different parts of the body to the brain and spinal cord, the person’s central nervous system cannot perform its normal functions. Radiological examinations for MS disease show plaques in the brain and spinal cord. Plaque describes areas where the myelin sheath is damaged. As a result, in the presence of plaque, the information sent from the person’s brain to the relevant area or from the nerves to the brain via electrical impulses cannot reach its destination. Symptoms of MS disease may occur in the eyes and visual field. Multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease, occurs in attacks, and the frequency, severity, symptoms and findings of attacks can be seen differently in each patient. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable disease, can appear at any time, at irregular intervals. Frequently wondered “What does MS mean?” The question can be answered this way. Another frequently asked question is “What are the symptoms of MS?” It is in the form.

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What Causes MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?

In multiple sclerosis, the person’s own immune system cells attack the protective sheath covering nerve cells called myelin. Myelin is responsible for protecting nerve fibers and ensuring communication between the brain and the rest of the body. As a result of this attack, the disease can cause nerve deterioration or permanent damage.

What are the Symptoms of MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?

Symptoms of MS disease can occur in different ways from person to person and also vary depending on the subtype of multiple sclerosis disease. MS disease usually begins in the RRMS type, which progresses with attacks and remissions. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can appear at any time. The complaints caused by the symptoms resolve partially or completely. However, in some types of multiple sclerosis, the complaints caused by the symptoms that occur due to attacks may be permanent. For example, due to damage to the optic nerve sheath, the person may experience complaints such as decreased color brightness or permanent vision loss. MS is a very personal disease in terms of symptoms. Not every symptom may be seen in every MS patient or may not cause complaints of the same severity. “What are the symptoms of MS disease?” The question can be answered in detail as follows:

  • Tingling and numbness in the facial area,
  • Numbness, tingling, weakness, fatigue in the arms and/or legs,
  • loss of balance,
  • difficulty walking,
  • movement disorders,
  • Sensory losses,
  • Sudden changes in mood,
  • Constipation,
  • Stool and/or urinary incontinence,
  • Stiffness while urinating,
  • frequent urination,
  • Memory and attention problems,
  • Headache,
  • Hearing loss,
  • double vision,
  • vision loss,
  • Dementia-like cognitive impairment and deterioration.
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What Causes MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?

One of the questions frequently asked by people diagnosed with MS or whose relatives have been diagnosed with MS is “What causes MS disease?” It is in the form. Although the causes of MS disease are not yet fully understood, research on this subject continues at full speed. Multiple sclerosis, which can also be defined as an autoimmune disease, is not caused by lifestyle and diet. MS disease is a disease that is thought to be caused by a disorder in the immune system, genetic factors, previous viral diseases, and environmental and geographical reasons.

How Do MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis) Attacks Happen?

In multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease, damage occurs to the myelin layer covering the nerves. Lesions occur when these sheaths surrounding the nerves are damaged. An MS attack can be defined as a condition that results from these lesions and causes neurological findings that are added later. In other words, an MS attack is called an MS attack when pre-existing neurological symptoms related to MS disease increase, new ones are affected, and this situation continues for at least 24 hours. All complaints that occur within 1 month are evaluated as a single MS attack. Attacks of multiple sclerosis can last a few hours or continue for months. The disease, which is not contagious and does not result in loss of life, must be constantly monitored by a physician. The frequently asked question “Is MS disease fatal?” can also be answered in this way. According to 2019 data, there are 50 to 60 thousand MS patients in Turkey. In this respect, it can be said that the incidence of the disease in Turkey is at a medium level. There are also celebrities with MS disease.

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MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis) Diagnosis, Testing and MS Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms seen in MS disease can mimic many other neurological diseases. For this reason, it is necessary to use a detailed history, physical examination, some tests and imaging methods for differential diagnosis. There is no specialized test that can be used to diagnose the disease. For diagnosis, other possible causes of the symptoms must first be excluded.

A detailed neurological examination performed by a neurologist is valuable for diagnosis. MRI can show whether there is any damage to the myelin sheath in the brain and spinal cord. So, one of the biggest aids in confirming the diagnosis is MRI.

Blood tests are often done to rule out symptoms of vitamin deficiency or neuromyelitis optica, a very rare but potentially very similar condition to MS.

Lumbar puncture is a procedure used to take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid using a needle in your lower back. Cerebrospinal fluid is the fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord, and changes in this fluid can lead to problems with the nervous system.

MS Disease Treatment

There is no specific test to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis. The diagnosis of the disease is made by eliminating other diseases. In other words, the symptoms and signs that occur due to MS disease appear prominently in some people, but are much less common in others. Therefore, the diagnosis of MS; While in some patients it can be easily diagnosed in the light of data obtained from clinical findings, laboratory tests and radiological imaging methods, in some cases it is more difficult to diagnose. In such cases, it is extremely important to keep the patient under follow-up. Currently, 2017 McDonald criteria are applied for the diagnosis of MS. The physician first takes a detailed history of the patient and then performs a neurological examination. If the findings obtained through laboratory tests and radiological imaging examinations meet these criteria, the person is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The treatment applied to people diagnosed with MS aims to reduce the number of attacks and the effects of the disease on the person. During multiple sclerosis attacks, the person is given a steroid called methylprednisolone, or commonly known as cortisone, intravenously for 3 to 10 days. In selected cases, cortisone treatment is continued orally. During this period, salt and carbohydrates are removed from the diet. Different medications can be prescribed individually to reduce the number of attacks and to eliminate the irregularity in the patient’s immune system. Multiple sclerosis treatment is done with appropriate medications according to the patient’s current condition.

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