In order to understand Multiple Sclerosis and how it can be treated you need to know a few basic facts about how the nervous system works when it’s not affected by the illness.
The central nervous system is a vital mechanism composed of the brain and the spine. Without it we couldn’t live and all the diseases that affect it are dangerous.
Throughout our body there are a lot of sensitive nerve endings. These nerves tell us if what we touch is cold or hot, soft or hard, by sending signals to the central nervous system, which processes them and turns them into the sensations we feel when we touch something or even when we see and hear something. The nerve endings are surrounded by a protective membrane called myelin.
Also, in our bodies you can find a lot of white blood cells and antibodies. These have the role of guarding the body against infections and foreign organisms that get inside it. Both the antibodies and white blood cells are controlled by the central nervous system. When it detects an infection it sends them attack the Holsteins bacteria that cause it.
Now that we’ve gone through these basic facts we can understand multiple sclerosis. When a person has
MS the central nervous is confused and it sends the white blood cells and antibodies attack the myelin that protects the nerve endings. When these attacks occur the sense which uses the involved nerve endings gets affected.
Depending on what sense is attacked the symptoms vary widely from one person to another. If it’s the visual sense then temporary loss of vision can appear, or
if it’s not a full loss of vision the blurry or doubled vision occurs.
The motor system can also be attacked and in this case loss of balance and coordination are experienced by the person in cause.
Sometimes those with Multiple Sclerosis also feel confused, experience mood swings, and have respiratory problems.
The cause of these attacks is unknown, no one can tell what makes the nervous system attack the nerve endings, but scientists are researching the reason and they hope to discover it soon.
There is no treatment that can cure multiple sclerosis, and in order to find a good treatment we need to discover the cause first. Until then the treatment can only try to stop or ameliorate the attacks. There are a few drugs that have been proven to help those suffering from
MS but nothing that does something certain against it has been released. Let’s hope that research will bring good news in the near future.
There are several medication that can help with MS:
Copaxone (Glatiramer acetate or Copolymer-1) – Included in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, this medication is also very efficient in alleviating symptoms and preventing the occurrence of complications. The drug is delivered under the form of subcutaneous injections. Compared to the previously described drugs, Copaxone has very few side-effects and is very well tolerated by most patients. Copaxone is considered to be a safe medication and is suitable for most categories of patients with multiple sclerosis.
Betaseron (Beta-interferon-1b) – This drug is also very effective in controlling the symptoms of
multiple sclerosis and reducing the risks of complications. Betaseron is administered under the form of non-painful subcutaneous injections and is well tolerated by most patients. Occasionally, Betaseron can produce side-effects such as skin irritation at the site of injection, moderate fever and fatigue. The drug is the primary choice in the treatment of secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis, a subtype of the disease characterized by gradual progression.