MS Description, Causes, and Risk Factors
Multiple sclerosis is known to be a very complex disease. The major reason for its complexity is the fact that the symptoms of this condition can differ significantly from one patient to another. Also, the range of symptoms that may occur in people affected by multiple sclerosis is rather broad.
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It includes such signs as dizziness, fatigue, problems with bladder and bowel function and control, problems with vision such as the temporary loss of vision in just one eye or a significant and long-lasting double vision; some other symptoms may be unsteady gait, tremor, incoherent speech, tingling, pain, or electric shock sensations in different body parts and neck in particular, and weakness or numbness in legs and trunk (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). The disease develops in phases with alternating remission and relapses periods when the symptoms go away to reappear in some time.
The causes of multiple sclerosis remain a mystery for contemporary medicine. This condition is regarded as autoimmune which means that it enables processes during which the immune system of an affected individual’s body begins to attack the body’s tissues (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017).
Also, there exist several risk factors for this condition. They include sex (as women are twice as likely to become affected by this condition), age (people aged 15 to 60 are affected by MS more often than others), genetic predisposition (if the disease affects one of the family members – the others are at risk of developing it as well), climate and race (white people, Northern Europeans in particular, have a higher risk of becoming affected by MS; also, people living in the countries with temperate climate are at higher risk) (O’Gorman, Lucas, & Taylor, 2012).
Case Analysis: Diagnosis and Treatment
The patient’s chief complaint was the incident when she peed herself by accident; she reported that this problem has been occurring from time to time over the last 3 months. Alongside this, she reported having had several urinary tract infections lately. Moreover, her other complaints include lasting fatigue, needle sensations in different body parts that become worse during physical activity, weakness in her legs, and recurring incidents of blurred vision in one eye.
Most of these symptoms match the description of MS signs. However, more tests were carried out in order to detect signs of the disease. Consequently, MRI and cerebrospinal fluid tests showed the presence of changes pointing to the changes that may indicate MS. There are still CSF and evoked potential tests needed for a fuller picture; they assess the level of immunoglobulin G in the body and electrical activity in the nerve pathways (Adams, Morgan, & Lindsey, 2014).
There exist several approaches to MS treatment. In particular, among the first-line therapies prescribed for MS, there are GA, FRBs, and dimethyl fumarate treatments; also, second- and third-line drugs include alemtuzumab, natalizumab, and mitoxantrone (Gajofatto & Benedetti, 2015). Treatments for multiple sclerosis are assigned based on the personal tolerability of and response to medications of the patients, as well as their individual course of disease development and progression. In particular, there are relapsing-remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive, and progressive-relapsing types of disease development, and, in accordance with their specificity, patients can turn out to be more or less responsive to certain forms of treatment (Adams et al., 2014).
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Adams, A. L., Morgan, M. R., & Lindsey, W. T. (2014). Multiple sclerosis: A review and treatment option updates. Alabama Pharmacy Association, 1-9.
Gajofatto, A., & Benedetti, M. D. (2015). Treatment strategies for multiple sclerosis: When to start, when to change, when to stop? World Journal of Clinical Cases, 3(7), 545–555.
O’Gorman, C., Lucas, R., & Taylor, B. (2012). Environmental risk factors for multiple sclerosis: A review with a focus on molecular mechanisms. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 13(9), 11718–11752.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Multiple sclerosis. Web.