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Multiple Sclerosis: What is it?

an elderly woman needs to use a cane to walk because of multiple sclerosisWith age come a host of diseases that become more prominent.

Because they are often linked with age, the elderly are extremely at risk of various long-term illnesses. Unlike these diseases, multiple sclerosis can occur at any age. Most commonly found in women, the onset of symptoms can occur as early as young adulthood.

MS is a disease that has been strongly linked to genetic susceptibility, making the disease even harder to prevent. Often triggered by environmental factors, the disease can be worsened through stress and other environmental components. Because the way in which MS progresses can vary from patient to patient, there are four general courses that the disease follows.

MS is a disease that has been strongly linked to genetic susceptibility, therefore making the disease even harder to prevent.

Often triggered by environmental factors, the disease can be worsened through stress and other environmental components. Because the way in which MS progresses can vary from patient to patient, there are four general courses that the disease follows.

Relapsing-Remitting MS patients experience a clear breakdown of neurological function through relapses, flare-ups, or exacerbation of the disease followed by partial or complete recovery periods. Thus Relapsing-Remitting MS progresses in clear stages and gets worse with each relapse. This is the most common diagnosis for multiple sclerosis patients.

Primary-Progressive MS is a much slower progression but steadier progression of MS. There are no relapses or remissions, but rather a continued and gradual break down of neurological function.

Secondary-Progressive MS is like primary-progressive MS, but is often a second stage to relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Because it is usually a second stage following relapsing-remitting MS, secondary-progressive MS is a much slower stage of the disease in which a slow deterioration of neurological function occurs.

Progressive-Relapsing MS is an extremely rare course of multiple sclerosis in which patients experience a steady decrease in neurological function accompanied by sudden attacks of rapidly worsening neurological function. There is little recovery in this course of the disease, and is usually the most expedited course in which the disease progresses.

Although this disease does not have a known treatment yet, there are ways in which patients can live with the disease and still actively do the things they enjoy. Talk to your doctor if you have multiple sclerosis about what you can safely do with your form of the disease, and take advantage of whatever mobility and stability in walking you might have.

Diseases, like multiple sclerosis, don’t have to weigh you down. By understanding your limitations and abilities, you can make the most of your disease and still live a healthy and happy lifestyle.
 

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