Department of

Neurology - Multiple sclerosis

Department of

Neurology - Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a type of autoimmune disorder. When you have this disorder, your immune system incorrectly affects healthy cells. The immune system targets cells in the myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerves in the brain and spinal cord, in persons with MS.

Damage to the myelin sheath causes nerve transmissions from your brain to other parts of your body to be disrupted. The injury may cause symptoms in your brain, spinal cord, and eyes.

Multiple sclerosis is classified into four types:

  1. Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS): When someone experiences their first instance of MS symptoms, healthcare clinicians frequently classify it as CIS. Not every person with CIS develops multiple sclerosis.
  2. Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS): is the most frequent type of multiple sclerosis. People with RRMS experience flare-ups, also known as relapses or exacerbations, of new or worsened symptoms. Remission periods follow (when symptoms stabilize or go away).
  3. Primary progressive MS (PPMS): People with PPMS have symptoms that deteriorate gradually over time, with no intervals of relapse or remission.
  4. Secondary progressive MS (SPMS): Many people who are first diagnosed with RRMS subsequently develop SPMS. With secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis, nerve damage accumulates over time. Your symptoms worsen over time. While you may still have relapses or flares (when symptoms worsen), you no longer have periods of remission (when symptoms stabilise or go away).

What is the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Experts are still unsure what causes multiple sclerosis. There is continuing research to help determine what causes the condition. Factors that may precipitate MS include:

Exposure to specific viruses or bacteria: According to some study, being exposed to particular illnesses (such as the Epstein-Barr virus) can cause MS later in life.

Environment: Your environment may influence your risk of acquiring MS. Certain regions of the world have much greater rates of the disease than others. MS is more common in areas farthest from the equator. This could be because these areas receive less direct sunlight. People who get less sun have lower amounts of vitamin D, which is a risk factor for MS.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune illness that affects your immune system. Researchers are trying to figure out what causes some people’s immune cells to assault healthy cells by mistake.

Gene mutations: Having a family member with MS raises your risk of developing the condition. However, it is still unclear how and which genes have a role in the onset of multiple sclerosis.

Vision issues, such as optic neuritis (blurriness and pain in one eye), are frequently among the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Other common symptoms are as follows:

  • Fatigue.
  • Balance or coordination problems.
  • Spasms of the muscles.
  • Muscle fatigue.
  • Tingling or numbness, particularly in the legs or arms.


There is no single test that can offer a conclusive diagnosis of MS. A physical exam will be performed by your healthcare professional to determine what is causing your symptoms. Blood tests and imaging tests, such as an MRI, may also be performed. An MRI scan looks for lesions (damaged areas) in the brain or spinal cord that indicate multiple sclerosis. Lesions form when the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves is damaged. A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) may also be required.

If these tests do not yield a clear answer, your neurologist may advise you to undergo an evoked potential test. This test measures electrical activity in the brain and spinal cord to assess nerve function.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is controlled or treated in what ways?

There is no cure for MS at the moment. Treatment focuses on symptom management, decreasing relapses (times when symptoms flare), and slowing disease progression. Your comprehensive treatment plan may contain the following components:

  1. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs): Medications aid in the reduction of relapses (also called flare-ups or attacks). They slow the progression of the disease. They can also prevent new lesions on the brain and spinal cord from occurring.
  2. Medications for relapse management: If you have a severe attack, your neurologist may prescribe a large dose of corticosteroids. The medicine reduces inflammation immediately. They slow the deterioration of the myelin sheath that surrounds your nerve cells.
  3. Physical therapy: Multiple sclerosis can impair your physical function. Maintaining your mobility will be easier if you stay physically healthy and muscular.
  4. Counseling for mental health: Coping with a chronic ailment can be emotionally taxing. MS can also have an impact on your mood and memory. Working with a neuropsychologist or receiving other forms of emotional support is critical to managing the disease.

How can I avoid a relapse of multiple sclerosis?

Disease-modifying medicines are the most effective strategy to lessen the frequency of flare-ups (also known as relapses or attacks). A healthy lifestyle is also essential. Your choices can help halt illness development. Good medical care can also reduce your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Among the lifestyle adjustments that can help your condition are:

  1. Eating a healthy diet: There is no such thing as a miracle MS diet. Experts advocate a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein. Limit your intake of added sugars, bad fats, and processed meals as well.
  2. Regular physical activity: Muscle weakness, loss of balance, and trouble walking are all symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Aerobic activity, flexibility, and strength training are all necessary for maintaining muscle strength and physical function.
  3. Stress management: Stress can have both physical and emotional consequences. It can also disrupt sleep, exacerbating MS-related tiredness. It’s critical to discover techniques to cope with stress, such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and working with a mental health professional.

When should I consult a doctor?

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor:

  • Sensitivity to heat.
  • Feeling wobbly or out of sorts.
  • Memory issues.
  • Numbness or tingling, particularly in the arms or legs.
  • Vision shifts unexpectedly.
  • You may experience arm or leg weakness.

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