Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 6 & 7 : Physical Disabilities- Orthopedic Impairment

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

It is one type of degenerative disease. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS) - that's the brain and spinal cord. Predominantly, it is a disease of the "white matter" tissue. The white matter is made up of nerve fibres which are responsible for transmitting communication signals both internally within the CNS and between the CNS and the nerves supplying rest of the body.

Causes: No one is sure what causes the body's immune system to go awry in multiple sclerosis. Some scientists believe that it is a combination of genetics and something in the environment to which the person was exposed to early in life.

Symptoms: Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from person to person and can change over time in the same person. The most common early symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased coordination
  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Eye pain>
  • Double vision

As the disease progresses, symptoms may include muscle stiffness (spasticity), pain, difficulty controlling urination, or problems with cognition.

Diagnosis: Making the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis isn't easy because the symptoms are vague and often fleeting. Factors that a health professional considers are:

  • Two or more isolated episodes of symptoms that could be caused by MS. The episodes must last at least 24 hours and occur a month apart.
  • MRI test showing the areas of demyelination (lesions).

Treatment: There are a variety of medications available that can reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms in some people with multiple sclerosis. Some drugs can also slow the progression of certain types of MS.

There are also a variety of medications available that can:

  • Shorten attacks of MS (acute worsening of symptoms)
  • Relieve the symptoms of MS (such as pain, urinary problems, and muscle stiffness)
Last modified: Friday, 25 May 2012, 10:22 AM