What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, immune-mediated disorder. That means the system designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body that are vital to everyday functions. The protective coverings of nerve cells are damaged, which leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal cord.
MS is a disease with unpredictable symptoms that can vary in intensity. While some people experience fatigue and numbness, severe cases of MS can cause paralysis, vision loss, and diminished brain function.
What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)?
• Prolonged double vision
• Numbness, tingling or weakness
• Walking difficulties
• Emotional changes
• Muscle spasm
• Dizziness and headache
How is multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosed?
Your doctor is likely to start with a thorough medical history and examination.
Your doctor may then recommend:
• Blood tests, to help rule out other diseases with symptoms similar to MS. Tests to check for specific biomarkers associated with MS are currently CSF Index, Interferon Alpha-neutralizing Antibody, Oligoclonal Band, Myelin Basic Protein aid in diagnosing the disease.
• Lumbar puncture (spinal tap), in which a small sample of fluid is removed from your spinal canal for laboratory analysis. This sample can show abnormalities in antibodies that are associated with MS. Spinal tap can also help rule out infections and other conditions with symptoms similar to MS.
• MRI, which can reveal areas of MS (lesions) on your brain and spinal cord. You may receive an intravenous injection of a contrast material to highlight lesions that indicate your disease is in an active phase.
• Evoked potential tests, which record the electrical signals produced by your nervous system in response to stimuli. An evoked potential test may use visual stimuli or electrical stimuli, in which you watch a moving visual pattern or short electrical impulses. It is applied to the nerves in your legs or arms. Electrodes measure how quickly the information travels down your nerve pathways.
If you or your family members are facing any of these symptoms consult your doctor immediately.