Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects over 400,000 Americans. It is diagnosed with the help of MRIs, tests of the nervous system and symptom tracking. When it is diagnosed, it is most common in younger people between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. From the office of Brain and Stroke Care in Franklin, TN, educate yourself about multiple sclerosis, including what causes this disease and how it can be treated and managed.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is a disease of the central nervous system that can lead to disability (but not in every patient). The myelin covering that protects nerve coverings weakens, causing changes in the way that the brain communicates with the body. The symptoms of MS range from fatigue, numbness and muscle weakness, to more advanced issues like bladder dysfunction and difficulty walking. Many patients have “flare-ups” where symptoms appear for a period of time, then go into remission. If the condition isn’t managed, the nerves can become permanently impaired.
Causes of MS
Doctors aren’t sure what causes multiple sclerosis, but many believe that patients who are diagnosed with MS may have a genetic predisposition to the disease. If there’s a history of this condition in the family, that could explain the diagnosis. Other factors, like racial background (people of Northern European ancestry are most at risk), a history of viral infections and other autoimmune diseases can also play a role.
There are encouraging developments in modern medicine to help patients manage multiple sclerosis. Exploring treatment options can change the way the disease develops and prevent symptoms from reoccurring. Treatments available include:
Talking to a Neurologist
The doctors at Brain and Stroke Care in Franklin, TN are able to diagnose and treat patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders. Call the office at (615) 450-6758 if you’re interested in scheduling a consultation.