Multiple Sclerosis(MS)

What is MS?
It is an auto-immune(when the bodies own immune system attacks the healthy cells of the body because something causes the immune system to see those cells as foreign antigens) disease that attacks the myeline sheath

It is perceived, through research, that a virus changes the cells of the immune system to “see” the myelin sheath insulating the neurons as an invader (an antigen). Therefore the immune system will attack the myelin. This myelin sheath is very important as it keeps the impulse going, with no disturbances and not getting lost, to its destination.

Average age when symptoms appear:
The average age during which symptoms start to appear is around 20years. People between the ages of 20 and 50 are the most common age group to develop the disease, although children and people over the age of 50 can get the disease.


These symptoms occur due to the swelling of optic nerves.

  • Weak sensation of limbs, co-ordination and balancing problems.
  • Visual disturbances include:Muscle contractions at unwanted times, no sensations or prickly feelings in tips of fingers or toes, etc.
    • blurred vision
    • colour changes(e.g.: red to orange)
    • not being able to see with one eye

  • Problems with pronunciation of words
  • Some memory loss and incapability to perform simple tasks

Having few of these symptoms does not mean that you have MS, you should have most of them at around the same time to conclude the diagnosis.
  • As this disease worsens patients experience reduced control of involuntary muscles (bladder functions).
Different types of MS:

There are three different types of MS [relapsing-remitting MS(RR-MS), primary-progressive MS(PP-MS), secondary-progressive MS(PS-MS).

When a person’s normal, everyday abilities suddenly deteriorates, this person has just had an “attack” (their immune system is destroying the myelin sheath around certain neurons), this is known as “exacerbation of multiple sclerosis”. These attacks can last up to 24 hours and can happen at any random time.

  • RR-MS: this occurs when a person with MS has a sudden number of attacks and then the attacks just stop and disappear for any random period of time(weeks to decades).
  • PP-MS: This is a more steady degeneration of the sufferer's abilities to perform tasks.
  • PS-MS: This type of MS is a combination of the previous two types. There will be steady degeneration with sudden attacks and periods of disappearance of the disease.

  • An MRI is used to find any lesions on the brain
  • A test to determine if impluses are moving as they should be
  • A sample of cerebro-spinal fulid is examined to find if there are any unwanted antibodies that could suggest that the person has MS

Long term prognosis:
This disease is long term degeneration of the myelin sheath. It is a fatal diseas as the person with this disease will not be able to control muscle movemet, rememeber things and live the way they used to

Steroids and other drugs that can help the recovery to happen quicker process after an attack. Drugs(immunosuppressants – drugs that comprimise the immune system) can also be given to slow down the deterioration of the myelin sheath.

There is no cure for this disease

Hardship and life-style chnges for those with MS:
The person suffering with MS will start to become less independent with daily activities as the disease progresses. Threfore they will need full time supervision and care as the “attacks” can happen at any time.