Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a painful and frustrating neurological disease affecting the central nervous system and the body’s motor organs. Multiple sclerosis is primarily a form of chronic inflammation of the nerve cells that originate in the brain, spine, and spinal cord areas. Multiple sclerosis usually begins in the early stages of age and is characterized by gradually increasing loss of sensory or motor function, and on progressing occasions, total paralysis of certain body parts (mainly the legs and the hands). Multiple sclerosis is currently the leading cause of disability related to aging in industrialized countries, with approximately 50 million people affected by this disease worldwide.
Multiple sclerosis can be divided into three main categories: primary progressive, secondary progressive, and relapsing and remitting. In the primary progressive form, the disease attacks the central nervous system and affects the nerve cells; the symptoms include visual impairment, speech problems, partial deafness, movement difficulty, nerve damage and atrophy. In the secondary progressive form, multiple sclerosis symptoms develop gradually over time; the main objective of treatment is to reduce the impact of symptoms on daily life. Finally, relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis patients experience periods of remissions where they experience progressively less symptoms. In some instances, multiple sclerosis patients may experience periods of remissions where no specific disease modifying treatments are administered.
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Multiple sclerosis is characterized by multiple sclerosis relapses, which occur in different patterns. The most common type of relapse occurs in the initial phases of MS. Relapses occur in four main forms: first, brief periods of severe weakness and difficulty with movement; second, multiple sclerosis symptoms worsen to the point where patients are unable to perform daily tasks; third, multiple sclerosis relapses as a result of loss of control, and finally, multiple sclerosis relapses that cause total disability. In addition, relapses can take the form of partial disability that only affects a particular body part or area of the body, or worse, total disability, affecting almost all of the body. Relapses in multiple sclerosis usually last for about two years; however, this time frame can be extended in certain cases.
Relapses in multiple sclerosis affect different parts of the body, with approximately half of relapses affecting the central nervous system. The most common areas affected by relapses include the vision area (the visual cortex) and the language area (the midline section of the brain). In addition, relapses can also affect the spinal cord and affect the muscular system.
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory condition. When multiple sclerosis starts affecting the central nervous system, it is known as multiple sclerosis (MS), or sensorial sensibility disease (SSD). When the disease starts spreading to other parts of the body, it is referred to as multiple sclerosis associated Pneumonia (MSP). The progression of the disease is triggered by the body’s immune system trying to remove the toxins and waste products produced by the cells affected by MS. Multiple sclerosis can have a profound effect on the quality of life, causing depression, anxiety and irritability, poor concentration, decreased mobility, blurry vision, decreased hearing, slurred speech, and stiffness of muscles, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing.
Multiple sclerosis can affect any age group and at any stage of life. A relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patient may begin having signs or symptoms before they reach the age of 50. The development of MS is unpredictable, so relapses are not unexpected. This condition can cause great physical and emotional stress and should be monitored carefully. MS patients should seek immediate medical attention when experiencing any of the following: extreme tiredness, loss of balance, numbness in the hands and feet, trouble speaking, blurred vision, pain in the neck, stiffness of muscles, difficulty walking, constant fatigue, painful urination, bowel problems, and swelling of the face, legs, or hands.