The first signs of multiple sclerosis usually appear between the age of 20-40 years, with women facing triple the risk of developing the disease compared to men. Since early treatment can improve your outcomes, contact Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD, as soon as you notice symptoms. Dr. Mehta has extensive experience providing customized care that relieves your symptoms and may help slow down disease progression. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Nashville, Tennessee, or use the online booking feature.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs when your immune system attacks nerves in your brain and spinal cord. The attack damages the myelin sheath, which is an outer cover on each nerve that’s essential for transmitting electrical nerve signals. When the myelin sheath is injured, your brain can’t communicate with your body, and MS develops.
There are three types of multiple sclerosis:
About 80% of patients are initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, which means they go through alternating cycles of symptom flares and remission.
About 60-70% of patients who were originally diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS eventually develop secondary progressive MS. At this stage, they stop going into remission and their MS symptoms worsen.
About 10-20% of patients are initially diagnosed with primary progressive MS. With this type of MS, you never go into remission and your symptoms gradually worsen.
The symptoms you develop depend on which nerves are affected and the amount of damage to the nerve. For many patients, the earliest symptoms affect their eyes, causing:
When symptoms appear in your body, you may experience:
Tremors and problems speaking, such as slurred speech, are also common.
Dr. Mehta works with each patient to create a comprehensive and holistic plan that treats their symptoms, helps slow down disease progression, and improves their overall ability to move and function.
Several disease-modifying medications are available to slow the progression of all three types of MS. However, these medications also pose the risk of significant side effects. Dr. Mehta explains the benefits and risks, and carefully determines if one of these medications might help your symptoms.
Dr. Mehta may also prescribe medication to relax muscle stiffness and spasms, reduce fatigue, improve walking speed, and relieve other symptoms. As a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Mehta can help with other important therapies for MS such as physical therapy.
If you need ongoing support and treatment for MS, call Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Meta, MD, or book an appointment online.