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Similarities And Differences Amongst Multiple Sclerosis And Muscular Dystrophy

1790 words - 8 pages

Signs and Symptoms
Multiple Sclerosis is a central nervous system disorder that is characterized with multiple different signs and symptoms. These signs are based on the different courses of neurological damage throughout the central nervous system that can vary in strength and location. Patients will typically present with spasticity, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, bladder dysfunction, pain and cognitive function. Other symptoms that are less common include depression, bowel dysfunction and paroxysmal symptoms.7 Paroxysmal symptoms are those that manifest in multiple sclerosis as temporary disturbances which include muscle spasm, numbness, paresthesia, slurred speech or long pauses between ...view middle of the document...

With time, the degeneration may affect cardiac and respiratory musculature and cause cramping throughout the body. Muscle loss will typically begin in the pelvic region and shoulders and will affect regular movement and strength of the extremities.9 Individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which is a prevalent muscular dystrophy in children, present with a loss of ambulatory ability between thirteen and seventeen years of age, as well as possible death in the teens or twenties. Duchenne muscular dystrophy presents with a variety of different signs and symptoms including the appearance of enlarged calf muscles and a waddling gait with frequent falls. The heart is often affected and cardiomyopathy may result as the myocardium deteriorates. This may be life threatening at an early age and a cardiologist should monitor the individual regularly. Learning disabilities generally occur in the areas of attention, verbal learning, memory, and emotional interaction with others. Respiratory function is involved with these individuals as the diaphragm weakens and respiration, coughing, and exertional activities becomes more difficult to accomplish.10
Multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy patients have some similar symptoms but the disease processes are very different from each other. Treatment of these disorders may include similar goals, such as maintaining strength and increasing functionality, but pharmacologic interventions will differ in these patients. Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to manage because patients can have a variation of multiple symptoms. Pharmacologic treatments can have adverse side effects and may cause more complications. Patients that are treated with a multimodal approach seem to have the best outcomes.7 The prognosis of MS is variable but it is rarely fatal and most patients live an almost normal life span. Within ten years of being diagnosed, almost half of the diagnosed population use a cane for ambulation and about 15% use a wheelchair.2 The goal of treatment is to slow the progression of the disease, reduce symptoms, improve function, and preserve the quality of life.
The treatment of MS can vary based on the underlying problems of each patient. Along with pharmacologic intervention, rehabilitation can play a big role in the patient’s life by working to maintain or improve function. In general, patients should avoid high temperatures and excessive exertion. The increase in body temperature may interfere with activity of membrane proteins in axons, which will further disable action potential conduction.2 Also, sufficient Vitamin D3 , stress management, regular exercise, and proper medical management can all help to slow disease progression.2 Multiple types of drugs are available and can be prescribed that have anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and immunomodulatory effects to help reduce relapses and slow progression.7 There are also medications or other pharmacologic...

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