Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorder (an immune-mediated inflammatory disease) that causes problems throughout the body.
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath in the central nervous system, called "myelin", and destroys the myelin.
Myelin damage (demyelinating disease) causes communication problems between the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord) and the rest of the body.
|What is multiple sclerosis and how to prevent MS inflammation|
Multiple Sclerosis: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment - How to Prevent MS Inflammation
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is defined as the most common demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord) due to the immune system attack on the myelin sheath.
In detail, MS disease often leads to exhaustion when the body's immune system damages the membrane surrounding the nerves, called myelin; a substance that covers nerve fibers and protects them.
This damage to the membrane negatively affects the process of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Eventually, the nerves themselves may get damaged, which is irreparable damage.
It should be noted that the symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from patient to patient depending on the affected nerves and the amount of damage in the nerves.
In difficult cases, patients with multiple sclerosis lose the ability to walk or talk. Sometimes, it is difficult to diagnose the disease in its early stages, because the symptoms often appear and then disappear, and may disappear for several months.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) may occur at any age but usually begins to develop at the age of 20-40 years.
Although there is no definitive cure for MS, some treatments may reduce the incidence of seizures and help control and alleviate symptoms.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
There are four different types of multiple sclerosis, including:
Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS): CIS is a single attack (seizure) that affects the patient and its symptoms last for at least 24 hours.
Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS): RRMS is one of the most common types, affecting 85% of patients. Seizures include new and increasing symptoms.
Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS): Primary progressive MS Symptoms worsen progressively, affecting 15% of cases.
Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS): The severity of the disease increases after periods of relapses and rest in which the patient passes.
Read here: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -Types, Symptoms and Causes
Read here: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -Types, Symptoms and Causes
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis has different and varied symptoms, related to the location of the affected nerve fibers.
MS may cause a wide range of symptoms that vary in severity and duration of occurrence among patients. The period in which symptoms increase in severity is defined as relapses.
Some common symptoms of multiple sclerosis may include:
➮Partial or total loss of eyesight in each of the eyes individually, in general (the problem is not both eyes at the same time), sometimes accompanied by aches in the eye when it is moved (optic neuritis).
➮Numbness (lack of sensation and feeling) or weakness in the limbs, all or part of them, usually appear weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, or in the lower part of the body.
➮Aches and itches in different parts of the body.
➮Facing problems with thinking, learning, and planning.
➮Vision problems; double or blurry vision.
➮Feeling like an electric blow when moving the head certain movements.
➮Suffering from sexual problems.
➮Tremor, loss of coordination between body organs or loss of balance while walking.
➮Feeling general fatigue.
➮Muscle spasm, stiffness, and weakness.
➮Bladder and bowel problems.
➮Dizziness; people with multiple sclerosis may feel lightheaded or off balance.
Symptoms appear in most people with multiple sclerosis, especially in the early stages, and then disappear completely or partially. Often the symptoms of multiple sclerosis appear or increase in severity at high body temperature.
In most cases, symptoms of MS appear in the form of intermittent attacks or donations, interrupted by certain periods when the symptoms finally disappear or decrease significantly.
Infections may last for several days, weeks, or months, and in some cases of advanced disease, permanent nerve damage may result in continued symptoms, and the associated symptoms depend on the affected area of the body.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is not known, but it is believed that some factors play a role in increasing the likelihood of developing the disease.
You know that multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks itself. This process damages the myelin layer, a fatty substance that envelops and protects the nerve fibers of the brain and spine.
Myelin function is similar to the function of insulating coating in the electrical wire. When the myelin layer is damaged, the message or information that is transmitted through the nerve may arrive slower or not at all.
Some people have certain genes that increase their chance of getting sick. Some people may develop the disease after being exposed to a viral infection such as Epstein – Barr virus and other infections that make the immune system work abnormally or infection may trigger disease or cause relapses.
Some studies have suggested that getting vitamin D from sunlight may boost the immune system and prevent MS and even people who have a higher chance of developing the disease and moving to sunny places may have a lower risk.
As we mentioned above, so far, doctors and researchers do not know the exact cause of multiple sclerosis but a combination of genetic factors and childhood infections helps determine the active agents of the disease.
Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis
The following factors may increase the likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis:
Genetic factors: The likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis increases when family members are infected or have multiple sclerosis.
For example, a person whose parent or sibling suffered for multiple sclerosis has a 1 to 3% chance of developing this disease, compared to only 1% in other people.
However, experiments between identical twins have shown that heredity is not the only factor for multiple sclerosis.
If MS had only genetic factors, the likelihood of infection in identical twins would be equal but this is not the case. The risk of identical twins is only 30% if his twin brother has multiple sclerosis.
Age: Multiple sclerosis may occur at all ages, but generally begins and develops between the ages of 20 and 40.
Gender: Women are twice as likely as men to have multiple sclerosis.
Ethnicity: White people, especially those of Northern European origin, are more likely to have MS.
Contamination: Many viruses are known to be associated with MS. More recently, the most interesting topic is the relationship between MS and EB-Epstein Barr - the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis (also known as Kissing Disease). ).
To date, it is not known how the virus arises and develops in difficult cases of MS.
Climate: Multiple sclerosis is more common in temperate climates.
Certain autoimmune diseases: There are people (slightly more likely) to have multiple sclerosis if they have one of the following autoimmune diseases:
- Inflammatory bowel
- Type 1 diabetes
- Diseases in which thyroid function is impaired
Complications of Multiple Sclerosis
In some cases, multiple sclerosis may develop other diseases such as:
⇒Muscle stiffness, hardness or muscle spasm (Myospasm).
⇒Paralysis, especially in the legs.
⇒Problems with bladder cysts, intestines, or sexual performance.
⇒Mental problems, such as forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, or depression.
Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis
There is no specific test for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Ultimately, the diagnosis depends on the denial of other diseases that may cause the same symptoms.
Your doctor can diagnose MS based on the results of the following tests:
Blood Tests: Blood tests can help prevent the presence of contaminated diseases or other infections, which also cause the same symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Lumbar Puncture: In this test, the doctor or nurse extracts a small sample of cerebrospinal fluid in the spinal canal and examines it in vitro.
The results of this test can indicate a defect or a specific problem related to multiple sclerosis (MS), such as abnormal levels of white blood cells or proteins.
This process can also help to deny the presence of viral and other diseases that may cause neurological symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis.
Evoked Potentials Test: In this test, electrical signals from the brain are measured in response to stimuli and visual or electrical stimuli are used for the hands or legs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): In this examination, a highly charged magnetic field is used to form a detailed image of the internal organs.
An MRI scan can detect brain and spinal damage indicating loss of myelin, due to multiple sclerosis.
However, loss of myelin may be caused by other diseases, such as Lupus or Lyme Disease (also called Borreliosis).
The presence of these damages does not mean that the patient necessarily has multiple sclerosis.
During an MRI scan, a person lies on a movable table and is inserted into a device that resembles a long tube that makes knocking sounds during the examination.
Most MRI tests take at least one hour. Screening is not painful, but some people get Claustrophobia when they communicate with power devices inside the body.
Therefore, the doctor may make sure that the examination, if needed, under anesthesia.
Sometimes colored substances are injected into a vein, which can more easily detect damage effectiveness.
This process helps doctors determine whether the disease is in an effective stage, even if the patient does not feel the symptoms of the disease.
More sophisticated MRI screening techniques can provide a more detailed picture of the degree of nerve fiber injury or even total damage to myelin.
What is the Best Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
|What is the best treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS)?|
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Treatment of multiple sclerosis is generally concentrated in the resistance of autoimmune reaction and symptom control.
There is no specific cure for the disease. In some patients, these symptoms are so mild and so simple that no treatment is needed.
Pharmaceutical Treatment- Drug Therapy
The most commonly known medications for the treatment of multiple sclerosis include:
Corticosteroid: This is the cortisone-like medicine used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It blocks and reduces inflammation that usually intensifies in seizures and it provides relief for inflamed areas of the body.
Glatiramer acetate: An immunomodulator medication used to treat MS.
Interferon Beta 1-Alpha: A cytokine in the interferon family used to deal with MS.
Natalizumab: Natalizumab (Tysabri ) is a monoclonal antibody used to treat multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease. It can affect the actions of the immune system of the body and may help to protect healthy cells from damage.
Teriflunomide: It affects the immune system and reduces inflammation and swelling in the nervous system and used to treat the symptoms of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).
Metoxenotrone: An anthracenedione (anthraquinone) and an antineoplastic agent used to treat multiple sclerosis. It is also used to treat leukemia and other cancers.
Note: All medicines listed here are for informational purposes only. We do not recommend any kind of medication. Please consult with your doctor before taking any medications to treat multiple sclerosis.
Alternative Treatment Options for MS
Alternative treatments can also be used for the treatment of MS symptoms, including:
Massage therapy (physiotherapy) and magnet therapy.
Exercise Therapy: for example, yoga, swimming, walking, and other types of regular exercise. The patient is taught and trained in stretching and strengthening exercises and is instructed on how to use devices that can facilitate everyday life.
Plasmapheresis: also known as therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), is used in cases of severe symptoms of MS, especially in people who do not appear to be responsive and have no improvement when injected with intravenous steroids.
Plasmapheresis is a somewhat similar technique for dialysis because it automatically separates blood cells from the plasma (the liquid part of the blood).
How to Prevent Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Inflammation
Obviously, preventing such a complex disease is very difficult. Consequently, researchers have identified several very important factors for multiple sclerosis that may be the solution to prevent this disease.
Even if you have multiple sclerosis already, it is important to brace yourself with many facts, and lifestyle changes can reduce the rate of relapses, relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis
It is now widely accepted that low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis. This seems reasonable given that vitamin D plays a key role in the function of the immune and nervous systems.
That is why some experts believe that vitamin D may help prevent multiple sclerosis.
Some studies suggest that increasing vitamin D is associated with a lower relapse rate as well as a lower degree of disability in people who already have multiple sclerosis, so it is very important to discuss with your doctor if you have multiple sclerosis.
Vaccines and Multiple Sclerosis
Since there is no bacterium or virus that triggers the disease, developing a vaccine that prevents MS is at least difficult. This cannot stop scientists from trying to develop a vaccine.
In fact, there are a number of promising vaccines under test, one of which has been under discussion for several years.
A study showed that patients who had early signs of multiple sclerosis and took a tuberculosis vaccine, was significantly less likely to exacerbate multiple sclerosis than those who took a placebo.
Research is still in its infancy, but regular doses of this vaccine may eventually become a periodic preventive treatment for patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis as well as individuals who are at increased risk of exacerbating the disease due to genetic causes.
Preventing multiple sclerosis is not just in the hands of researchers. There are a number of lifestyle changes we can all make to reduce the risk of worsening the disease.
Say 'No' to Smoking
Exposure to cigarette smoking appears to be one of the major environmental factors for MS. The chance of exacerbating the disease is 1.5 times higher than that of non-smokers.
The more you smoke, the greater the risk. In this regard, if you have multiple sclerosis, there are many reasons to stop smoking - a number of studies have suggested that smoking may exacerbate the disease more quickly.
It is also associated with a greater risk of shifting from relapsing and quiet sclerosis to progressive secondary multiple sclerosis.
Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids
A healthy and balanced diet is very important to maintain a healthy weight, but it also ensures that you get all the nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy immune system and nervous system.
Studies suggest that countries that consume large amounts of fish tend to lower rates of multiple sclerosis, which some experts believe may be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 oils.
If you have multiple sclerosis, it is very important to increase your intake. Studies show that supplementation with omega-3 oils in individuals with multiple sclerosis is associated with low disease activity and worsening disability.
Ensure compliance with standards
Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) is another way to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis. We know, for example, that being overweight (if the index is above 25) increases the chances of developing MS.
One study reported, for example, that people who are obese at age 20 are twice as likely to develop the disease than people who are not obese.
Interestingly, we know that obesity may lower vitamin D levels, so both may be very closely related.
We may be too far away from eradicating multiple sclerosis altogether, but we are certainly on the right track.
The researchers are working on distinctive preventive measures that may help us in the future, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of exacerbation of multiple sclerosis at the moment.
Taking care of your body is one of the best forms of disease prevention.