World Multiple Sclerosis Day: Warning signs and symptoms, causes and all you want to know
World Multiple Sclerosis Day is observed on May 30 every year to create awareness among people to accept and support those affected by this serious ailment.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is severely affected. It is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system and today, 2.8 million people around the world have this disease. MS could impair the patient's ability to walk, move various body parts and may even lead to vision loss. There is still not enough research to suggest its causes nor there are enough treatments to cure it. As there is breakdown of communication between body and brain, those suffering from the ailment are unable to coordinate the body functions. Though the severity of the disease varies from person to person, it certainly puts normal life at risk. Multiple sclerosis at productive age of persons has huge economic cost for the affected person and family. (Also read: Here’s how you can prevent, manage multiple sclerosis)
As we observe World Multiple Sclerosis Day on May 30, there is need to create awareness among people to accept and support those affected by this serious ailment. In an interview with HT Digital
Dr Kapil Agarwal, Sr. Consultant & Head of Dept. Of Neurology, Marengo Asia Hospitals, Gurugram talks about the symptoms, causes and treatment of the chronic disease that hits the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, optic nerves).
Symptoms of MS
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs occurring on one side of your body
- Trouble while walking
- Unexplained vision difficulties like seeing double, blurred vision, or loss of vision
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Pain in body parts
- Problems in remembering
- Sexual, bowel and bladder dysfunction
- Slurred speech
- Cognitive problems
Cause of MS
The root cause of this neurological disorder is not clear. This disease may affect people at any age. The disease is most commonly reported among people between 20 and 40 years of age. Women are 2 to 3 times more susceptible to developing relapsing-remitting MS. If someone has a family history of multiple sclerosis, then they may be at high risk of having this disease. Certain infections like Epstein-Barr, the virus causing infectious mononucleosis may be associated with MS. Having low levels of vitamin D, low exposure to sunlight, Obesity, smoking, and certain autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease, pernicious anaemia, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease may also raise the risk of this disease.
To diagnose, a physical examination of the patient is done. Patients may be advised to undergo blood tests and imaging tests like MRI. If required, the Doctor also may recommend an evoked potential test that may help identify your nerve function by measuring electrical activity in the brain and spinal cord.
There are new immunomodulator-based therapies available for patients now. The patients may now take medicines orally. To manage the symptoms, the patients are advised to stay physically fit and strong.