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Support #MultipleSclerosis MS Awareness

multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsMultiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, i.e. the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. In severe cases, the patient becomes paralyzed or blind while in milder cases there may be numbness in the limbs.

Over 350,000 people have MS in the US. The Cleveland Clinic says that MS-related health care costs are thought to be over $10 billion per year in the US.

According to the British National Health Service, approximately 100,000 people live with multiple sclerosis in the UK. Symptoms usually appear between 15 and 45 years of age. Women are twice as likely to get MS than men.

multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsHere are some key points about multiple sclerosis.

  • More than 350,000 Americans have MS
  • Multiple sclerosis attacks the central nervous system
  • The myelin sheath of MS patient's nerves is steadily degraded
  • Multiple sclerosis can affect people of all ages
  • Women are more commonly affected by MS than men
  • Multiple sclerosis is more common the further a population lives from the equator
  • Many believe MS is an autoimmune disease
  • A genetic predisposition is involved in MS
  • Month of birth appears to be a factor in the development of MS
  • Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is still a difficult process.

multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsRisk factors for multiple sclerosis:

  • Multiple sclerosis can affect people of all ages
  • It is more common among people aged from 20 to 50 years
  • More women develop MS than men
  • People of European descent are more likely to develop MS, compared to other people. However, people of all ancestries can get it
  • You can inherit a greater susceptibility of getting MS from your parents
  • In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that approximately 2.5 million people had multiple sclerosis
  • Multiple sclerosis rates are higher the further away you live from the equator. This leads many to believe that exposure to sunlight impacts on MS risk.

Multiple Sclerosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

MS affects the central nervous system, which controls all the actions in the body. When nerve fibers which carry messges to and from the brain are damaged, symptoms may occur in any part of the body.

In most cases, signs and symptoms generally appear between the ages of 20 and 40. For some patients, they are so mild that they do not notice anything until much later in the course of the disease. Others may be aware of them very early on.

multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsThe most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis are:

  • Bladder problems - patients may have difficulty emptying their bladder completely, needing to go to the toilet more frequently. Urge incontinence (suddenly dying to go, or unintentional passing of urine), and Nocturia (needing to go frequently during the night) are also common symptoms

  • Bowel problems - half of all multiple sclerosis patients are frequently affected with constipation, which can sometimes be serious (fecal impaction). If the fecal impaction is not resolved, the problem may lead to bowel incontinence

  • Cognitive Function - according to the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Center, UK, about 50% of people with MS say they experience cognitive problems to some extent, increasing to 80% among the most severe cases. The most commonly reported cognitive abnormalities include problems with memory, abstraction, attention and word finding.

    In March 2012, researchers from the Kessler foundation reported on a study they carried out which showed that warmer weather has a negative effect on the cognitive performance of patients with MS

  • multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsDepression - researchers from UCLA say MS patients have a 50% chance of developing depression. They add that depression among MS patients is not psychological, but linked to atrophy in part of the hippocampus

  • Emotional Changes - multiple sclerosis may have a profound emotional effect on the individual when a diagnosis is first made. It may be hard to adjust to the diagnosis of such an unpredictable disorder, which carries a risk of some level of physical disability.

    Also, demyelination and nerve fiber damage in the brain can cause emotional changes. In short, a person with MS may experience emotional changes for either psychological or physical reasons, or both.

    Researchers from the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, USA, showed that stress management treatment reduced the formation of new brain lesions in people with multiple sclerosis considerablymultiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donations

  • Fatigue - this is one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and affects approximately 80% of patients. The person's ability to function properly at work and at home may be seriously undermined by fatigue. It is the main reason MS patients leave their jobs

  • Dizziness and Vertigo - people with MS commonly experience dizziness and problems with balance. Vertigo is not the same as dizziness; it is a sensation that the room around you is moving or spinning

  • Head movements may cause electric-shock like sensations

  • Numbness or weakness - usually in one or more limbs, and typically affects just one side of the body at a time, or just the bottom half of the bodymultiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donations

  • Pain or tingling in some parts of the body

  • Sexual Dysfunction - loss of interest in sex is common for people with multiple sclerosis. Males commonly find it difficult to reach or maintain an erection; they may also find it takes longer to ejaculate. Females may find achieving orgasm more difficult

  • Spasticity and muscle spasms - damaged nerve fibers in the spinal cord and brain can cause muscles to tightly and painfully contract (spasms). Muscles might get stiff and be resistant to movement (spasticity)

  • Tremor - involuntary quivering movements

  • Vision Problems - Double vision or blurring vision. There may be partial or total loss of vision, which usually affects one eye at a time. When the eye moves there is pain (optic neuritis, inflammation of the optic nerve)

  • Gait changes - gait can be a problem for people with MS. Gait refers to the way you walk. Multiple sclerosis can change the way people walk, because their muscles are weaker, they may have problems with balance and dizziness, plus fatigue.

multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsThese symptoms are less common, but also possible:

  • Headache
  • Hearing loss
  • Itching
  • Respiratory or breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Speech disorders
  • Swallowing problems
  • Tremor.

multiple sclerosis, support a cause, cure multiple sclerosis, donate, autoimmune disease, cure multiple sclerosis, donations, multiple sclerosis donationsAs the MS advances these symptoms may appear:

  • Alterations in perception and thinking
  • Fatigue
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Muscle spasm
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Death.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease. Each individual will experience it in different ways.. For some, MS starts with a subtle sensation, and it could take months and even years without any MS progression being noticed. For others, however, symptoms worsen much more rapidly - within weeks or months.

MS is very much an individual disease. People are encouraged not to compare what affects them against what other patients might experience.

 

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