Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition of the central nervous system that causes lesions or plaques to form on the myelin that coats the nerve fibres in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves. The plaques interfere with the ability of nerves to transmit impulses. The condition varies greatly depending on where the plaques are located.andnbsp;
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of MS can be varied and unpredictable depending on the location of the plaques within the central nervous system but can include:
- Muscle spasms and weakness
- Reduced coordination
- Heat sensitivity
- Visual disturbances
- Pins and needles
- Memory loss
- Cognitive difficulties
The cause of MS is unknown. It is believed there could be an interaction of several different factors contributing to the onset of this condition.
There is no specific test for MS. A diagnosis of MS requires evidence of at least 2 separate areas of the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord or optic nerves) having damage to the myelin sheaths. Evidence of this damage needs to be detected at least one month apart and other possible diagnoses must be ruled out. A careful medical history, neurological examination and various investigations including MRI, evoked potentials and spinal fluid analysis maybe used to reach the diagnosis of MS.
There is no cure for MS. Many different medical treatments maybe used to help improve recovery from attacks, slow the progression of the disease and manage the symptoms.
Melinda has over 15 years' experience as a Physiotherapist, she is a titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a specialist in Vestibular Rehabilitation.Read more
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