What is Multiple Sklerosis

March 2, 2017 - intern
What is Multiple Sklerosis

MS is a disease of the central nervous system (brain and nerve tissue spinal cord) caused damage to myelin. Myelin is a material that protects nerves, serves as a protective coating on electrical cables and ease the nerves to send impulses quickly. The speed and efficiency of impulse transmission is what enables a smooth body movements, rapid, coordinated and carried out with little effort.

multiple sklerosisIn MS, damage to myelin (demyelination) leads to impaired ability to conduct nerve fibers ‘message’ to and from the brain. The location of damage to myelin (plaques or lesions) appear like area (scarring / wound) were hardened: MS, scars / wounds is evident in the brain and spinal cord.


The cause of MS is unknown, at this time the whole world is still doing research to find the exact cause of MS.

The damage to myelin in MS may be due to an abnormal response of the immune system, which is supposed to protect the body against harmful organisms (bacteria and viruses).

Many types of MS who showed symptoms of the disease ‘immune’, in which the body attacks the cells and tissues themselves (in the case of MS is myelin). Researchers do not know what triggers the immune system to attack myelin, but no one thought that it was due to several factors.

One theory is that a virus, possibly lying dormant in the body, may play an important role in the development of this disease and may disturb the immune system or indirectly instigate the auto-immune process. Much research has been trying to identify an MS virus. There is one probable that there is no one MS virus, but that a common virus, such as measles and herpes virus, which triggered the onset of MS. This trigger activates white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the blood stream to the brain by making vulnerable the brain’s defense mechanisms (ie, substances that protect the blood / brain). Then, in the brain, these cells activate other elements of the immune system in a way that eventually makes the cells to attack and destroy myelin.


Women are more susceptible than men of contracting MS, MS 50% more common in women than men (3 to 2). MS is a disease of young adults; the average age of onset is 22-39 years, but attacks are actually very broad range of up to approximately 10-59 years.


Multiple sclerosis is a very variable condition and the symptoms depend on which areas of the central nervous system is attacked. There is no set pattern to MS and everyone with MS has a different set of symptoms alone, which forms from time to time vary and the severity and duration can be changed, and all the variations and changes that can occur even in the same patient.

There is no typical MS. Most people with MS will experience more than one symptom, but although there are common symptoms suffered by many people, no one has all these symptoms at once. Common symptoms are:

Impaired Vision

loss of balance body

Stiffness (spasticity)

Impaired sense of taste

Impaired speech

excessive fatigue

Disorders of bladder and bowel

Sexual disorders

Sensitivity to heat

Cognitive and Emotional Disorders

Another with symptoms are clearly visible immediately, other symptoms such as fatigue (fatigue), impaired sense of taste, impaired memory and concentration are often hidden symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be difficult to explain to others and sometimes family and carers do not understand the effects on employment, social activities, and quality of life of people with MS.


The workings of MS is unpredictable. For some people, the disease is only slightly annoying, while others experienced a rapid deterioration to make it completely helpless, and most of the others are in between these two extremes.

Although each individuals experience a combination of symptoms of MS are different conditions, but we can classify MS to several types / kinds:

Relapsing-Remitting MS (MS-Incurred Loss / Offenders)

In this type of MS, occurring several times a relapse (attack) is not unexpected. This attack took place at various times (days or months) and can recover partial or total. This type can be ‘inactive’ for months or years.

Frequency – approximately 25%

Benign MS (MS Tame)

After one or two attacks and then fully recovered, MS type is not worsening and there arise a permanent disability. Benign MS can only be identified when their light appear during 10-15 years after onset and initially can be categorized as relapsing-remitting MS. Benign MS tends to be associated with the symptoms are not severe when the attack (for example in the sensory system).

Frequency – approximately 20%

Secondary Progressive MS (Secondary Progressive MS)

For some people who initially had MS lost – arise, in the course of the disease is no form of further developments which lead to the inability of progressive, and often accompanied by a continuous recurrence.

Frequency – approximately 40%

Primary Progressive MS (primary progressive MS)

MS type is characterized by the absence of a severe attack, but there were small attacks with symptoms continued to deteriorate significantly. The accumulated deterioration occurs and the inability to take the patient at a rate / point lower or persists for months or years.

Frequency – approximately 15%


It is impossible to predict how the disease for each individual MS accurately, but the first five years usually gives an indication to someone about how the disease will continue. This conclusion is based on how the disease works in this period, and based also on what type of disease (eg, relapsing-remitting or progressive). The level of disability reached at end points such as five and ten years is believed to be a reliable tool to predict carakerja this disease in the future.

However, there are some variables regarding this:

Most people with MS (approx 45%) are not too affected by his disease MS, and can lead a normal life and be able to remain productive lives.

There was a group of patients (40%) the type of MS-her turn into a progressive after several years of intermittent nature.

The first age at onset and gender may be an indicator of long-term course of the disease MS. Several studies have shown that the attack occurred at a younger age (under 16 years) implies a better prognosis, but this should be limited by the fact that a young adult who live the life of people with MS for 20 or 30 years may experience an inability substantial , although progress towards the inability to progress slowly and at 10 or 15 years of the first patient has been relatively little affected. Other studies showed that the attack on the elderly (age over 55 years), particularly in males, may indicate a progressive course of the disease.

MS Therapy should give prospects supporting people with newly diagnosed MS. Drugs such as interferon beta are possible treatments for patients with relapsing-remitting MS and patients who could still walk. Interferon beta can slow the progression of disability and also reduce the severity and frequency of deterioration. At this stage, it is not known whether interferon beta impact on primary progressive MS or not. Extensive research about MS now this gives hope that therapy which is against the MS disease process (though not cure), in the near future, no longer be an impossible expectation.

It should be remembered that many people with MS go through life with the inability to regulate themselves (eg, excessive fatigue, a limp, bladder disorders). However, at least 15% of patients with MS will be disabled (eg, must use a wheelchair all the time). The life expectancy for most people with MS is near normal.


Unlike other diseases, there is no test that can instantly detect ‘positive or negative’ test for MS and is available to help doctors in diagnosing, none of which can 100% confirm the diagnosis.

This means that eventually the doctors will diagnose MS by combining observations of symptoms that occur in a person, and ruling out other possibilities. It is called ‘Clinical Diagnostics’.

Problems in Diagnosis

Unfortunately for most small MS patients (10-15%), it is not possible to obtain a definitive diagnosis, even after undergoing tests with a variety of test kits available. However, it could be a very important rule out causes of the symptoms of type-MS to another, and if followed by periodic inspection and supervision on changing patient conditions, then in many cases, the diagnosis becomes as may be specified at a later date.

New Criteria for Diagnosis of MS

International Scientific and Medical Board of MSIF has concluded a new criteria for the diagnosis of MS to help doctors in distinguishing between MS with other diseases that can display the same symptoms. This new criterion involves scanning with MRI results, so it is possible to diagnose MS though someone just show one episode of symptoms alone. With these new criteria, a person can be classified as having MS, possible MS or not MS.

Clinical diagnosis

MS at an early stage can be seen as a history of the disease with vague symptoms, which can appear sporadically over a period of time and can often be associated with a medical condition to another. The symptoms are not visible and the subjective nature often difficult to communicate with doctors and health experts, and unfortunately in the very early stages of diagnosis, treatment less sympathetic still is common for people with MS.

Although a person shows symptoms of the type of MS with a classic pattern, these symptoms should certainly meets the criteria before a doctor or neurologist can diagnose ‘definite’ MS clinically. Those criteria are: ‘Two different areas in the central nervous system affected, and the attacks occur in at least two different occasions and at least at intervals of one month, and that the person is in the age range of normal to get an attack of MS’. Thus, although it may be someone diagnosed with ‘definite’ MS on the first visit to a neurologist, there is the possibility that the diagnosis is not clear, and that the person will be referred for further testing series.


MS is a disease that requires you to adjust your daily life throughout life. If you had little or no physical disability, then the lifestyle you and your family may not change at all. However, knowledge of the disease and its potential implications can be a very heavy burden for sufferers of the disease and the surrounding family. Everything really depends on the symptoms you are experiencing and what you feel. These symptoms can continuously arise or occur at different times. The severity of these symptoms often determine the extent MS will affect your life.

Many people with MS say that they are necessary to make plans ahead of time compared to what they did before and they had to change some of their activities and schedules. If fatigue is a problem, for example, several short rest periods each day can help you continue your routine work, but with a slightly slower tempo.


Physiotherapy and regular exercise can help keep your fitness as possible. You and your doctor may be able to discuss what therapy or exercise program is good for you. It might involve having physiotherapy on a fairly regular basis or doing specific exercises at home. Many people find that swimming, yoga and horseback riding to be helpful. Any exercise that you enjoy and can do comfortably will be useful. In addition to maintaining muscle fitness, exercise can also be a good way to release tension and give peace. Local and national MS society you can offer recreation or exercise programs that can help, or recommend facilities or health workers to provide these activities.



Over the years, has filed a number of diets for MS, which may only been done for a disease with no known cause or no cure. Another with the recommended diets and contradict each character, it makes more sense if you do a nutritionally balanced diet that will ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals needed. Some people find that a diet low in animal fats and high in polyunsaturated fats is helpful to them. Please see also chapter Alternative Therapies Used by People with MS in the “MS: Free Treatment and Management”. It would be better to discuss any changes in your diet with your doctor or dietitian.


planning Work

Because with time MS can cause physical disability and cognitive, it is natural for you to evaluate the condition of your work realistically with regard to the possibility of change. If your job is very physically demanding, you may want to consider alternatives other work or try to reduce the physical activity of your work. For other jobs that are sedentary, physical limitations you may not have a great impact and you may be able to keep working for many years to come. Career advisers and special training may be available in your country.

Changes in the Family

One problem that is very difficult to overcome for married couples after a diagnosis of MS is the possible change in their respective roles. In the future, these possibilities must be seen together. A family that has income from two sources may have to learn to live with just one source of income. One of the partners may have to take on additional responsibilities to do homework and take care of the children. Full and open discussions are the key to success to tackle these important changes like this.

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