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Treating And Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system by targeting the myelin sheath, a protective layer covering the nerves in our body. The damage that this causes can be crippling, and can affect a person’s ability to talk, walk, swallow, and even breathe. Although MS can occur at any age, it is most often diagnosed in people between 20 and 50 years old. Women are at a greater risk of developing the disease, up to two to three times more than men. According to statistics, almost one million Americans suffer from multiple sclerosis.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society identifies the following four types of MS:

1. Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS)

Clinically Isolated Syndrome is defined as an episode of neurologic symptoms of multiple sclerosis that lasts at least 24 hours. While it exhibits the characteristics of MS, it isn’t an actual diagnosis of the disease. People who experience CIS have a greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis than others, but it is not necessarily set in stone. Those who get lesions on their brain have a higher likelihood of developing it, while those who don’t have a lower likelihood

2. Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)

The most common type of multiple sclerosis is RRMS, where patients exhibit symptoms that may last for periods of weeks or months (called relapses or exacerbations), then go into periods of partial or complete recovery (called remissions). Around 85 percent of multiple sclerosis patients are diagnosed with RRMS at the onset.

3. Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS)

SPMS starts out as relapsing-remitting MS, with around 50 percent of RRMS patients eventually progressing to SPMS. This is when there is an accumulation of disability, which means that a patient’s neurological functions progressively worsen over time.

4. Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)

Affecting around 15 percent of people with multiple sclerosis, PPMS is when accumulation of disability (the prorgressive worsening of neurological function) starts right at the onset of symptoms. PPMS patients do not experience any early relapses or remissions.

Although here is not yet a cure for multiple sclerosis, the symptoms that come with the disease can be treated and managed in a number of ways.

Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

If you suffer from multiple sclerosis, here are some treatments that your doctor might recommend to handle your symptoms.