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Multiple Sclerosis

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Courtney Gilliam

on 28 April 2010

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Transcript of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system and nerves. MS is immune-mediated and targets genetically susceptible persons. For unknown reasons, the person forms antibodies against the nerves and causes damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds them.

MS can have an effect on almost any part of the body.
Some common symptoms of MS are bladder and bowel
control problems, vision impairment, depression, fatigue,
speech problems, and muscle spasms. In MS, symptomatic
treatment is just as important as specific treatment.
-Approximately 400,000 American have MS, 2.5 million worldwide
- It is most typically diagnosed in early adulthood (20-30), usually among women
-Life expectancy for MS patients is slightly shorter than the average (7 years)
- MS most commonly affects the White population
-MS is 5x more prevalent in temperate climates than in any other region

- Diagnosed at age 50, lived with MS for three years
-She takes a weekly shot, and has MRIs annually ($650 per shot, $2,600 per month)
-Blurred vision was her indicator (it might have been present earlier)
-Fatigue is her only symptom
-Her type of MS is mild and goes dormant
-Has not sought out other patients

Because the cause of MS is unknown, detecting it can be a challenge. Many of the symptoms and signs a person experiences are non-specific. When MS is suspected, a series of tests are run. First, a general medical exam is performed; it is followed by a neurological exam that evaluates actions controlled by the nervous system; third an MRI is done to detect areas of myelin destruction; finally, a spinal tap is performed to determine the immune cell concentration of the CSF.

Treatment varies from patient to patient. There are a group of drugs
used for specific treatment of MS, but they are almost always combined
with drugs used for symptomatic treatment. The most common
medications are Beta Interferons (1a & 1b) and Glatiramer. They both
attempt to reduce flare-ups.

It can affect many systems/organs including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve, causing blindness, speech problems and coordination/balance problems. Destruction of the myelin sheath can result in paralysis. What is MS continued... Symptoms Statistics Courtney Gilliam What is MS? Signs Treatment Interview
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