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Multiple Sclerosis: New Treatment?

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multiple-sclerosis-treatmentCould There Be a New Treatment for MS?

Multiple Sclerosis affects more than 400,000 people a year, and most of the people with MS are women.  But now, people with MS have new hope.  A drug that has only been used in Europe is showing promise in treating Multiple Sclerosis. The discovery comes after a three-year study of patients with early symptoms of MS.  The study involved a little over 500 people with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, such as brain lesions, tingling, balance issues and numbness.  The patients that took the most of the MS drug were less apt to develop the official diagnosis of MS.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • The drug, named "interferon beta-1a," is not approved for use in the US. However, it has been approved in Canada and European countries.  The results of the study will be released in New Orleans at the American Academy of Neurology's meeting in the coming weeks.
  • The latest research adds to previous research which seems to be proving that early treatment of Multiple Sclerosis significantly steers off the disease and prevents relapses.

About MS

Multiple Sclerosis mostly affects women and is most commonly seen in 20 to 40-year-olds but people of any age can develop MS.  The effects of the MS disease have to do with an compromised myelin sheath, which covers and protects our nerves.  Because the protective covering is damaged, the nerves don't know how to work so the nerves stop or slow in performing their usual functions.  The damage stems from inflammation because the body's immune system attacks the never cells anywhere from the spinal cord, optic nerves or brain.

What causes this to happen is unclear, but numerous tests and studies are attempting to figure out the mystery of Multiple Sclerosis.  Experts surmise the disease may have genetic origins, be environmental or even be the cause of a virus.

Symptoms of MS

Multiple Sclerosis symptoms can come and go and appear anywhere on the body.  People with MS have episodes that vary in duration.  Symptoms could last months, days or weeks and vary in severity of symptoms.  Some patients go into remission, which means their symptoms have gone away.  But recurrences are common and especially can occur with exposure to heat, such as the hot sun or bath.  In addition, excessive stress can set it off.  some of the more unfortunate MS patients see their disease get progressively worse, with no remission in sight.  Here are some symptoms that MS patients experience:
  • Muscle compromises, such as spasms, difficulty moving arms and legs, loss of balance, abnormal feelings or sensations (such as numbness) in parts of the body are signs of Multiple Sclerosis.  In addition, tremors or weakness can appear in the arms and legs, causing poor coordination and walking difficulty.
  • People with MS may also have difficulty with bladder and bowel functions and experience eye problems, such as discomfort, double vision, uncontrolled eye movements and even vision loss.  They may feel a burning sensation in legs and arms and experience facial pain. 
  • When MS affects the brain, MS patients may become depressed, experience loss of hearing, poor judgment, memory loss and decreased attention span.  They may also struggle with balance.  MS people also have trouble speaking at times and digesting their food, along with slurred speech.
  • Fatigue is a common complaint of MS patients and seems to be more extreme toward the end of the day.
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