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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DO YOU KNOW MULTIPLE SCHELORIS IS MORE COMMON IN WOMEN BETWEEN AGE 20 AND 40

Zara Gretti, she died battling with multiple sclerosis for years. May her soul continue to rest in perfect peace

Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata, is an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems.
Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and the nerves that are affected. People with severe cases of multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk or speak clearly. Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose early in the course of the disease because symptoms often come and go- sometimes disappearing for months.

SYMPTOMS
A person with MS can have almost any neurological symptom or sign; with autonomic, visual, motor, and sensory problems being the most common. The specific symptoms are determined by the locations of the lesions within the nervous system, and may include loss of sensitivity or changes in sensation such as tingling, pins and needles or numbness, muscle weakness, very pronounced reflexes, muscle spasms, or difficulty in moving; difficulties with coordination and balance (ataxia); problems with speech or swallowing, visual problems (nystagmus, optic neuritis or double vision), feeling tired, acute or chronic pain, and bladder and bowel difficulties, among others. Difficulties thinking and emotional problems such as depression or unstable mood are also common.
Most people with multiple sclerosis, particularly in the beginning stages of the disease, experience relapses of symptoms, which are followed by periods of complete or partial remission of symptoms.
Some people have a benign form of multiple sclerosis. In this form of the disease, the condition remains stable and often doesn't progress to serious forms of MS after the initial attack.

CAUSES
The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It's believed to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. In multiple sclerosis, this process destroys myelin — the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
Myelin can be compared to the insulation on electrical wires. When myelin is damaged, the messages that travel along that nerve may be slowed or blocked.
Doctors and researchers don't understand why multiple sclerosis develops in some people and not others. A combination of factors, ranging from genetics to childhood infections, may play a role.
More common in women, MS is usually diagnosed between age 20 and 40, and symptoms may start out mild, come and go or become so severe that a person becomes unable to speak or walk.

RISK FACTORS
Several factors may increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis, including:
AGE: Multiple sclerosis can occur at any age, but most commonly affects people who are ages 20 to 40.
GENDER: Women are about twice as likely as men to develop multiple sclerosis.
FAMILY HISTORY: If one of your parents or siblings has multiple sclerosis, you have a 1 to 3 percent chance of developing the disease — as compared with the risk in the general population, which is just a tenth of 1 percent.
CERTAIN INFECTIONS: A variety of viruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus and others, appear to be associated with multiple sclerosis. Researchers study how some infections may be linked to the development of multiple sclerosis.
ETHNICITY:White people, particularly those whose families originated in northern Europe, are at highest risk of developing multiple sclerosis. People of Asian, African or Native American descent have the lowest risk.
GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS: Multiple sclerosis is far more common in areas such as Europe, southern Canada, northern United States, New Zealand and southeastern Australia. Researchers study why multiple sclerosis appears to more common in certain geographic regions. If a child moves from a high-risk area to a low-risk area, or vice versa, he or she tends to acquire the risk level associated with his or her new home area. But if the move occurs after puberty, the young adult usually retains the risk level associated with his or her first home.
OTHER AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: You may be slightly more likely to develop multiple sclerosis if you have thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.


TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
To diagnose multiple sclerosis, doctors will evaluate you, review your medical history and review your symptoms. Doctors will also conduct a physical examination. Doctors may order several tests to diagnose multiple sclerosis and rule out other conditions that may have similar signs and symptoms.

(A)BLOOD TESTS: Analysis of your blood can help rule out some infectious or inflammatory diseases that have symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis.
(B)SPINAL TAP(LUMBAR PUNCTURE):In this procedure, a doctor or nurse inserts a needle into your lower back to remove a small amount of spinal fluid for laboratory analysis. Doctors test the fluid for abnormalities associated with multiple sclerosis, such as abnormal levels of white blood cells or proteins. This procedure also can help rule out viral infections and other conditions that can cause neurological symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis.
(C)MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING(MRI):An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. An MRI can reveal lesions, which may appear due to myelin loss in your brain and spinal cord. However, these types of lesions also can be caused by rare conditions, such as lupus, or even common conditions such as migraine and diabetes. The presence of these lesions isn't definitive proof that you have multiple sclerosis. Doctors may inject a dye into a blood vessel that may help highlight "active" lesions. This helps doctors know whether your disease is in an active phase, even if no symptoms are present.
(D)EVOKED POTENTIAL TEST: This test measures electrical signals sent by your brain in response to stimuli. An evoked potential test may use visual stimuli or electrical stimuli in which short electrical impulses are applied to your legs or arms. This test can help detect lesions or nerve damage in your optic nerves, brainstem or spinal cord even when you don't have any symptoms of nerve damage.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) has no cure. Treatment usually focuses on strategies to treat MS attacks, manage symptoms and reduce the progress of the disease. Some people have such mild symptoms that no treatment is necessary.

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