Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving hope to people affected by the disease.
Modifying the Course of Disease
The BSW Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center considers many complex factors before deciding to initiate treatment with an interferon beta medication or glatiramer acetate. These treatments should be considered as soon as possible following a definite diagnosis of MS with active, relapsing disease, and may also be considered for selected patients with a first attack who are at high risk of MS.
An exacerbation of MS is caused by inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) that causes damage to the myelin and slows or blocks the transmission of nerve impulses. To be a true exacerbation, the attack must last at least 24 hours and be separated from a previous exacerbation by at least 30 days.
However, most exacerbations last from a few days to several weeks or even months. Exacerbations can be mild or severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and at work. Severe exacerbations are most commonly treated with high-dose corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Your doctor may recommend physical or occupational therapy to help you preserve your independence. You'll learn how to perform strengthening exercises and use devices that ease your daily tasks.
When your MS flares up, whether you've been recently diagnosed or are having a relapsing episode, you are likely to feel emotional changes, as well as physical symptoms. Even something like thinking about MS and your future can raise a host of questions and concerns. This is all perfectly normal. The BSW Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center offers resources to help you come to terms with your diagnosis.