Multiple Sclerosis – How To Recognize It And How To Treat It

It is known as “the disease with a thousand faces” because it is not easy to diagnose, the cause of it was not completely understood, and the course of the disease is difficult to predict.

In the early stages of multiple sclerosis may appear: fatigue, loss of strength (muscle weakness in one or more limbs), tingling, numbness, pain, reduction of visual acuity and “mixing” colors, double vision, instability in walking, dizziness, difficult general coordination of movement, tremor , difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, sexual difficulties … the symptoms often “come and go” in a few days, and many patients initially didn’t  visit a doctor.

A complex diagnostics

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory degenerative disease of the central nervous system, and damages can affect on the brain and spinal cord. Multiple sclerosis damages the myelin sheath that transmit impulses or stimuli between nerve cells.

Symptoms vary from person to person, depending on that which part of the central nervous system is most affected by the damage. In the diagnosis, most helpful is analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord through which one can see areas of inflammation and damages the myelin sheath.

The most common in Western society

The causes of multiple sclerosis are unknown, but it is believed that it is an autoimmune disease where the body produces antibodies that mistakenly attack the myelin sheath. It is also considered that the occurrence of multiple sclerosis may induce hereditary tendency, stress, improper diet and environmental factors. Some scientists represent the theory that viruses and bacteria stimulate the development of multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis occurs in every part of the world, but is most common in the northern parts of Europe and the United States.

With timely treatment can be avoided disability

Multiple sclerosis can occur at any age, but is most common between 20 and 45 years. Women suffer 2-3 times more often than men.

It is estimated that in Croatia is suffering from multiple sclerosis for about 6,000 people. Although there is no “definitive” cure for multiple sclerosis, to patients can help many drugs that prevent the deterioration of the disease, such as interferon and  acetate. The course of the disease is difficult to predict because it often turns deterioration and improvement, but timely treatment occurrence of disability can be “postponed” 20 to 30 years, or can even be completely prevented.

With a variety of medications that relieve symptoms and prevent worsening of the disease, helps moderate physical activity ( swimming, yoga),  physical therapy and exercise with the help of a physical therapist.