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A Patient's Guide to Multiple Sclerosis

Last updated 2 years ago

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological condition that occurs as a result of an abnormal immune response that damages the protective coating around nerves. If you or a loved one has been exhibiting the possible signs of MS, schedule a visit to your local hospital right away. The neurological team at your community hospital can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and help you explore your treatment options.

Causes and Risk Factors

Nerve fibers are protected by a myelin sheath. When the immune system attacks it, nerve impulses are disrupted. Researchers aren’t quite sure what the underlying cause is; however, it’s believed to involve a combination of genetics and environmental influences. Doctors have identified a number of issues that appear to increase the risk of MS, including smoking, being diagnosed with certain infections, having certain autoimmune disorders, and living in a temperate climate. Women and those with a family history of MS are more likely to develop it.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of MS can be difficult to pinpoint because they vary widely from person to person. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, about 80 percent of patients with MS suffer from fatigue and 55 percent experience chronic or severe pain. MS can also cause dizziness, vertigo, weakness, numbness, and muscle spasticity. Patients may suffer from cognitive changes, emotional challenges, vision impairment, bladder problems, and walking difficulties.

Treatment Options

Although MS does not yet have a cure, the neurological department of your hospital can help you learn about treatment options. When you experience a flare-up of symptoms, you may benefit from corticosteroids or plasmapheresis, the latter of which refers to a blood filtering treatment. Other medications may help slow the progression of the disease and reduce relapses. In addition to medications, patients may benefit from working with a physical therapist, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest.

The Neurological Services Department of Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point offers superior care to those with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Our hospital in Hudson, FL features the latest diagnostic equipment available, along with a highly trained, multidisciplinary team of experts. You can learn more about us by calling (888) 741-5119.

 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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