An Inside Look At Multiple Sclerosis

1104 words - 5 pages

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
MS is a common neurological degenerative disorder and can be debilitating in some people. MS
is known for its combination of remission times and its times of relapsing. Many people with
MS live well with the disease and learn to adapt to their bodies new challenges. Typically, when
a person is hospitalized for his or her MS disorder, the crisis is related to the secondary
complications of the disease. For example, later in the disease process some patients can become
fatigued more easily and are not able to move around as good as they once could. MS has four
categories: Relapsing and remitting, secondary progressive, progressing-relapsing, and primary
progressive. Relapsing and remitting is the most common. As the disease progresses it normally
moves through the rest of the categories in order if left unattended, and sometimes regardless of
the attention paid to the disease it still progresses in this manner.
Symptoms usually begin to occur between the ages of 20 and 40. Caucasians get the
disease twice as often as non-Caucasians. Geographically it is more common in the temperate
and cold climates of the higher latitudes of eh northern and southern hemispheres. There is some
evidence that MS has a genetic connection. Incidence of MS in first-degree relatives is 20 times
higher than in the general population. It is estimated that greater than in 400,000 people are
diagnosed with MS in the United States (NMSS 2009). The cause of MS is still widely debated
with no one theory shining brighter than the rest. There are two main ways researchers believe
people develop MS, one is genetic predisposition and the other is exposure to an environmental
agent.
MS is when the immune system is overactive and begins to turn on itself. The way it
does this is by attacking the central nervous system, or moreover, the myelin sheaths the
surrounds nerves. The myelin sheaths are the protective coverings around each individual nerve.
As these begin the break down the person will begin to have strange sensations and pains
throughout their bodies that can interfere with activities of daily living if left unattended. This
breakdown of the myelin sheaths causes scar tissue in the brain called lesions. These lesions are
also a way patients can be diagnosed.
The most common way a person can learn that they have MS is when a patient begins to
experience optic neuritis. This is when the optical nerve gets inflammation around it and the
person can experience visual problems. Some of the visual problems include; the eyes having
dark spot in the person’s field of vision, pain behind the eye, and lack of movement. The optic
neuritis not only is usually the first symptom of MS is can come back over the person’s life if the
person is not taking care of themselves. As well as optic neuritis there are other signs and
symptoms the person with...

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