Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system in which myelin gets damaged. Myelin is to the nervous system much like insulation is to an electrical equipment. Hence when the insulation (myelin) is damaged the electrical equipment (nervous system) malfunctions.

The cause of the myelin breakdown is unknown. There are several theories involving genetics, viral infections climate etc.

MS is common in young women. Symptoms include visual disturbances, incordination in walking or using hands, slurred speech, double vision, facial asymmetry, paraplegia (weakness of both legs), hemiplegia (weakness of one half of the body.

Pretty much as the name suggests - the attacks are multiple in time as well as in multiple areas of the nervous system.

The treatment consists of treating acute episodes as well as prescribing medications to reduce the probability of subsequent episodes. Steroids are very effective in improving episodes while other categories of medications called immuno-modulators are effective in reducing the probability of subsequent episodes.

Good physiotherapy, regular medications and a positive attitude are essential to keep the disease controlled.

My own experience: the disease isn't half as bad as it seems on the internet!!

Here are few links of interest:

MS demystified

A video about MS

MS society, INDIA

Living with MS