Signs of multiple sclerosis can differ greatly from patient to patient and vary throughout the course of illness depending on the location of the affected nerve fibers. The following symptoms are common:
Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs;
A chronic pain and unintentional muscle spasms - the research has shown that half of MS patients experience these symptoms;
A tingling electric shock-like sensation when moving, especially along the spine when the head is tilted forward (Lhermitte’s syndrome);
Tremors, poor coordination, balance problems, and unsteady gait;
A partial or complete loss of vision, eye movement pains, dizziness;
Additional symptoms: weakness, scrambled speech, problems of the genitourinary and gastrointestinal systems.
In some cases, multiple sclerosis develops slowly while myelin is destroyed. At first, it becomes more difficult for a person to speak, problems with vision, learning and planning are diagnosed. If action is not taken in time, MS can lead to disability.
It is impossible to get rid of the disease completely, but doctors have methods of treatment and drugs that help slow down its development, reverse symptoms and make the patient's life as comfortable as possible. Anti-inflammatory and decongestant drugs are prescribed to alleviate the condition in case of disease flare. MS can proceed both with less symptoms or more aggressive. The medications used to slow the disease progression can also be classified into milder and stronger drugs. These characteristics imply both their ability to counteract disease progression and the potential for side effects.
When the disease progresses more aggressively, doctors use a more definitive therapy that suppresses the immune system in order to reduce the risks of disability. Many patients manage to maintain an adequate standard of living for many years after diagnosis. If symptoms progress, the patient may require additional care, medical supervision, and a change of occupation. For example, a truck driver diagnosed with MS should definitely consider a new job because the disease causes vision and reaction problems dangerous when driving. It is important to recognize that MS complicates cognitive ability and planning; basic body functions may become unavailable after just a few years.
Photos are from open sources.