Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Also abbreviated as MS, disseminated Sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminated. It is an inflammatory(a protective response by the organism to the stimuli that causes injury and thus initiate the healing process) disease in which myelin sheath (usually layer around the neuron that is essential for the proper functioning of CNS) around the brain and spinal cord get damaged leading to demyelination (removal of myelin sheath) and scarring occurs.

MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other. Nerve cells communicate by sending the electrical signals through long fibres called as axons which are wrapped in an insulating substance called myelin. In MS , body’s own immune system attacks and damages the myelin. When myelin is lost, the axons can no longer conducts signals.

MS refers to scars(commonly called plaques or lesions)particularly in the white matter (one of two components of CNS) of brain and spinal cord

 

 

Causes of multiple sclerosis.

Most commonly MS  are result of some combination of  Genetic

Environmental and possibly vascular factors .

 

Genetic factors

It is not a hereditary (cannot pass from parents to their offspring’s) disease. However, a number of genetic variations have been shown to increase the risk factors of developing this disease. Apart from this specific genes have been linked with MS. Difference in human leukocyte antigen(HLA system) , a group of genes in the chromosome 6 that serves major Histo compatibility complex. (i.e. a large gene family found in vertebrates, that encodes MHC molecule. MHC molecule plays an important role in immune system and auto immunity.) , in humans that increase the probability of suffering MS.

 

Environmental factors

MS is common in people live farther from equator, although exceptions exist. Decreased sunlight exposure and decreased vitamin-D production is also linked with high risk of MS. Stress, smoking, occupational exposure and toxins mainly solvents has been evaluated for the cause of MS. Vaccinations may be the casual factor for MS.

Gout may be expected in people with MS to some extent.

 

 

Signs and Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

A person with MS can suffer any neurological symptom or sign, including changes in sensations, such as loss of sensitivity, pricking and numbness, hypoesthesia( reduced sense of touch) , paraesthesia( feeling of pricking needle of a limb  when falling asleep), weakness of the muscles, difficulty in moving and there is problem in maintaining balance and coordination., difficulty in speech(dysarthria) and swallowing(dysphagia).  visual problems including nystagmus(involuntary eye movements), optic neuritis(inflammation of optic nerve that may cause partial or complete loss of vision.), diplopia( double vision means perception of two images),

Fatigue, bladder and bowel difficulties. Depression and change in mood is commonly seen. Uhthoff’s phenomena is common  which means  an increase in symptoms occurs due to exposure to slight increase in temperature. Lhermitte’s sign(  bending of the neck leads to pain in the back) is commonly observed.

 

Types of multiple sclerosis

There are different types of multiple sclerosis

1) Relapsing MS

2) Benign MS

3) Secondary progressive MS

4) Primary progressive MS

 

Relapsing MS

This means that symptoms disappear and then reappear.

 

Benign MS

After having multiple sclerosis your  condition hasn’t worsened.

 

Secondary progressive MS

It means when the person develop multiple sclerosis second time the symptoms become worst this time.

 

Primary progressive MS

This is when initially being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that the symptoms get worse at time goes on.

 

Physiotherapy treatment for multiple sclerosis

Neurological physiotherapist will work with people suffering from multiple sclerosis to set goals and help to meet the aims of that person. This help to improve the quality of their life . treatment plan  include———

 

a) Improve muscle strength

b) Improve balance , posture and core stability

c) Gait re-education

d) Reduce risk of falls

e) Re-train normal pattern of movement

f) Help to motivate and increase energy level

g) Improve circulation

 

One of problem with MS is that muscles can weaken and joints can become stiff. Therefore physio will work on preventing this  through use of exercises and stretching techniques. Exercise programme will be specific and work on strengthening the muscle  used in daily activities. Passive stretching is another physiotherapy intervention to prevent stiffness in joints.. physiotherapist work to obtain maximal range of movement. Physiotherapist incorporate certain relaxation techniques in programme like breathing exercises which provide a good way of relaxation.

 

 

 

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 22/06/2011

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