Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, potentially incapacitating disease that affects the central nervous system.Medical professionals in the field believe Multiple Sclerosis to be an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system attacks various body parts as it would attack a foreign substance.
Multiple Sclerosis causes the body to incorrectly direct antibodies and white blood cells against proteins in the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath surrounds the nerves in your brain and spinal cord. As the proteins are attacked and damaged by the natural antibodies and white blood cells, this causes inflammation and injury to the sheath and ultimately to the nerves that it surrounds. The result may be multiple areas of scarring, hence the name Multiple Sclerosis. Eventually, this damage can slow or even block the nerve signals that control muscle coordination, strength, sensation and vision.
Oneof the most common types of Multiple Sclerosis is ProgressiveRelapsing MS. Progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis is a form of MS in which the steady deterioration of nerve function begins when symptoms first appear. Relapses referred to as disease flare-ups occur. During these relapses MS symptoms get worse than usual and are followed by a full or partial recovery. In addition, Progressive Relapsing MS is characterized by continued nerve damage and increasingly disabling symptoms even when the person is not having an attack. It is not very common for Multiple Sclerosis to follow the course Progressive Relapsing MS.
The treatment of MS has changed dramatically in the last decade. Through appropriate and aggressive management, a more favorable outcome and better quality of life are definitely attainable by people with MS. When considering the various methods available to manage Multiple Sclerosis, you should consider all available options including: the following medications and treatment options:
- symptomatic treatments
- medical treatments
- rehabilitative treatments
- psychological approaches
- alternative treatment options
- experimental treatments available through clinical trials in specialized MS centers.
You should consult your individual physician so as to obtain more detailed information and advice regarding the appropriateness of these available options considering the current condition of your disease. Paying for MS treatments or financing MS care will require you to understand the options available in government programs, insurance plans and choices, and financial assistance programs.