Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Disease
Neurology

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Disease

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the neurological diseases that affect the brain and spinal cord and cause the most disability in young adults. For some unknown reason, the body's own cells initiate a reaction against the sheaths surrounding the nerves and damage these sheaths. Therefore, problems begin in the communication of the brain and spinal cord with other parts of the body.

    What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

    Symptoms can be very different, sometimes so vague that the patient does not need to see a doctor.

    • Loss of sensation, tingling, strange sensations on one side of the body

    • Loss of strength, loss of skill on one side of the body or in one of the arms and legs

    • Electric shock sensation felt with neck movements

    • Loss of balance, dizziness

    • Partial or complete vision loss

    • Double vision

    • Speech disorder (limp speech)

    • Swallowing disorder

    • Fainting

    • Urinary and stool incontinence, sexual problems

    • Memory problems

    Who Is Affected By MS Disease?

    The disease is mostly seen in women between the ages of 20-40, but it can also occur at a much earlier or later age and in men. Those with a family history of MS are slightly more likely to develop the disease.

    How Is MS Disease Diagnosed?

    It is necessary for the physician to take a detailed history from the patient. If the patient has experienced any of the above-mentioned symptoms before and this symptom has lasted longer than 24 hours, it is very valuable for diagnosis. A number of pathological signs may also be observed in a detailed neurological examination.

    Then tests are conducted. Laboratory support is required in some cases to diagnose MS. First of all, the patient's routine blood tests are done. Medicated brain and spinal cord Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging is necessary for diagnosis, but a patient cannot be diagnosed with MS based on MR images alone.

    Another examination we use to diagnose MS is the cerebrospinal fluid examination. For this, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is taken by entering a small needle from the patient's lumbar region. Contrary to popular belief, this test will not harm the patient if it is performed under appropriate conditions.

    Another test is the Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) study, which measures the function of the optic nerve.

    The physician makes the diagnosis by evaluating all of the patient's history, neurological examination and examinations.

    What Is the Course Of MS Disease?

    MS disease has different courses. Sometimes the disease occurs just with a single attack. Sometimes, the patient has recurrent attacks at different times in his life, but usually these attacks go away with good treatment without any problems. Sometimes, as a result of attacks, permanent damage occurs and patients cannot live independently due to progressive disease.

    How Is MS Treated?

    There are 3 purposes in the treatment of the disease. One of the goals is the treatment of the patient who comes with a sudden attack, in which case highdose cortisone treatment is given intravenously for 3-10 days. Sometimes during this attack period, a blood exchange called plasmapheresis is performed. The second aim is to stop the attacks of the disease and try to prevent the progression of the disease. For this purpose, sometimes injections and sometimes pills can be given, and the patient is asked to use these drugs for a long time. In recent years, vascular treatment forms have also been put into use in patients who have worsened by having continuous attacks. Another aim is to treat the complaints of patients whose quality of life is impaired due to the disease. There are physical therapy methods, different muscle relaxants, painkillers, drugs that prevent urinary incontinence, drugs used in sexual dysfunction for the complaints of the patients.

    Can MS Patients Give Birth?

    MS patients can give birth, but if there is a condition that requires medication, treatment should be arranged before the patient becomes pregnant. There are treatment options that can be used throughout pregnancy. Most pregnant women go through the pregnancy process without any problems because the body has stopped some of its reactions due to pregnancy. However, after the pregnancy is over, the patient may have an attack. For this reason, it is necessary to continue their communication with their physicians during and after pregnancy