Multiple Sclerosis In Nervous System

Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes damage to nerve fibers in the central nervous system. Over time, it can lead to vision problems, muscle weakness, loss of balance or numbness. Several drug therapies can limit nerve damage and slow the disease’s progression.


There are four types of multiple sclerosis:

  • Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)

When someone has a first episode of MS symptoms, healthcare providers often categorize it as CIS. Not everyone who has CIS goes on to develop multiple sclerosis.

  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)

This is the most common form of multiple sclerosis. People with RRMS have flare-ups – also called relapse or exacerbation – of new or worsening symptoms. Periods of remission follow (when symptoms stabilize or go away).

  • Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

People diagnosed with PPMS have symptoms that slowly and gradually worsen without any periods of relapse or remission.

  • Secondary progressive MS (SPMS)

In many cases, people originally diagnosed with RRMS eventually progress to SPMS. With secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis, you continue to accumulate nerve damage. Your symptoms progressively worsen. While you may still experience some relapses or flares (when symptoms increase), you no longer have periods of remission afterward (when symptoms stabilize or go away).


  • Exposure to certain viruses or bacteria

Some research suggests that being exposed to certain infections (such as Epstein-Barr virus) can trigger MS later in life.

  • Where you live

Your environment may play a role in your risk for developing MS. Certain parts of the world have significantly higher rates of the disease than others. Areas farther from the equator have higher rates of MS. That may be because these regions receive less intense sun. People who get less sun have lower levels of vitamin D, a risk factor for developing MS.

  • How your immune system functions

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. Researchers are working to figure out what causes some people’s immune cells to mistakenly attack healthy cells.

  • Gene mutations

Having a family member with MS does increase your risk of the disease. But it’s still unclear exactly how and which genes play a role in triggering multiple sclerosis.


  • Changes in gait.

  • Fatigue.

  • Loss of balance or coordination.

  • Muscle spasms.

  • Muscle weakness.

  • Tingling or numbness, especially in your legs or arms.


  • Difficulty walking that may result in needing a cane, walker or wheelchair.

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.

  • Memory problems.

  • Sexual difficulties.


  • No one test can provide a definitive MS diagnosis.

  • To understand what’s causing symptoms, your healthcare provider will do a physical exam.

  • You may also have blood tests and imaging tests, such as MRI.

  • An MRI looks for evidence of lesions (areas of damage) in the brain or spinal cord that indicate multiple sclerosis.

  • Lesions develop as a result of damage to the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves.

  • A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) may also need to be done.

  • If these tests don’t provide a clear answer, your neurologist may recommend an evoked potentials test.

  • This test checks your nerve function by measuring electrical activity in the brain and spinal cord.


  • Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs)

Several medications have FDA approval for long-term MS treatment. These drugs help reduce relapses (also called flare-ups or attacks). They slow down the disease’s progression. And they can prevent new lesions from forming on the brain and spinal cord.

  • Relapse management medications

If you have a severe attack, your neurologist may recommend a high dose of corticosteroids. The medication can quickly reduce inflammation. They slow damage to the myelin sheath surrounding your nerve cells.

  • Physical rehabilitation

Multiple sclerosis can affect your physical function. Staying physically fit and strong will help you maintain your mobility.

  • Mental health counseling

Coping with a chronic condition can be emotionally challenging. And MS can sometimes affect your mood and memory. Working with a neuropsychologist or getting other emotional support is an essential part of managing the disease.

diseases treatments health prevention nervous-system multiple-sclerosis disorders

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