Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder in the brain, eyes , and spine. Multiple sclerosis can cause disturbances in vision and body movement .
When multiple sclerosis occurs , the body's immune system attacks the fatty layer that protects nerve fibers (myelin). This causes disruption of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. If not treated immediately, multiple sclerosis can cause permanent nerve loss or damage.
Multiple sclerosis occurs more often in women compared to men. The severity of the attack of this disease varies and causes different effects on each sufferer.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is not yet known , but it is suspected that the cause is autoimmune, which is when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissue.
In addition, a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors are also thought to increase the risk of multiple sclerosis , including:
- Female and aged between 16-55 years
- Having a family history of multiple sclerosis
- Ever or currently suffering from mononucleosis, thyroid disease , type 1 diabetes, and intestinal inflammation
- Less exposure to sunlight and low levels of vitamin D in the body
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary, depending on the location of the affected nerve. Multiple sclerosis can cause a series of movement and vision disorders, as well as other symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis can cause movement disorders in the form of:
- Weakness or numbness in the limbs or on certain sides of the body
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty keeping balance
- A sensation like an electric shock that occurs due to certain neck movements, especially when moving the neck forward ( Lhermitte 's sign )
- Tremors or shaking
Visual disturbances that can occur as a result of multiple sclerosis include:
- Partial or complete loss of vision which is usually followed by pain when moving the eyes
- Double vision
- Vision becomes blurred
In addition to movement disorders and vision disorders, multiple sclerosis sufferers can also experience some of the following symptoms:
- Hard to talk
- Pain and tingling in various parts of the body
- Disorders of the bladder, intestines, or sexual organs
When should you go to the doctor?
Check with a doctor if you experience symptoms of multiple sclerosis , especially if you have ever suffered from an infection related to multiple sclerosis , such as mononucleosis .
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease. Therefore, it is important to regularly consult with a doctor so that the progress of the disease and the effectiveness of the treatment can be known.
Patients with autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes , thyroid disease, or inflammatory bowel disease are more at risk of developing multiple sclerosis . Therefore, sufferers of the disease need to regularly check themselves with a doctor to prevent the development of the disease and early detection of complications from the disease they suffer from.
Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis
The doctor will ask about the patient's complaints, trace the history of diseases that have been suffered by the patient and his family, then perform a physical examination. After that, the doctor will perform a supporting examination to confirm the diagnosis.
There is no specific test that can directly confirm that a person is affected by multiple sclerosis . The diagnosis process is done to rule out other suspected diseases that can cause symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis .
Supporting examinations that can be done in the form of:
- Blood test , by taking a sample of the patient's blood for examination in the laboratory
- Lumbar puncture, by taking samples of spinal fluid to be examined in the laboratory
- E evoked potential test , to record electrical signals produced by the nervous system when responding to stimuli
- MRI , which is a scan used to see abnormalities in the brain or spinal cord.
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
There is no medicine that can cure multiple sclerosis. The available treatment is limited to relieving the symptoms and preventing the recurrence of the disease.
Multiple sclerosis treatment methods depend on the severity of the symptoms, as explained below:
Treatment to relieve symptoms
Some forms of treatment that can be given by the doctor to ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis are:
Doctors can give corticosteroid drugs , such as methylprednisolone and prednisone, to reduce inflammation in the nerves due to multiple sclerosis . While to reduce muscle stiffness, the doctor can give muscle relaxants, such as baclofen and tizanidine .
While methylphenidate and antidepressants are given to reduce fatigue.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy are performed to increase physical strength in patients. This will make it easier for patients to live their daily lives.
3. Plasmapheresis _
The doctor will remove the blood plasma from the patient's body using a special tool. To replace the removed plasma, the doctor will insert a special infusion fluid, such as albumin.
Treatment to prevent recurrence
This treatment is used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis . Doctors can give beta interferon injections to reduce the frequency and severity of multiple sclerosis relapses .
In addition to giving beta interferon , there is another drug that can also be used to reduce the recurrence of multiple sclerosis , namely fingolimod. This medicine is taken once a day.
Some multiple sclerosis sufferers who only experience mild symptoms do not need to seek special treatment.
Complications of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis can cause several complications, including:
- Deep vein thrombosis
Prevention of Multiple Sclerosis
Research shows that the risk of multiple sclerosis can be reduced by consuming foods rich in vitamin D. To be more clear, consult a doctor about this.
Do a routine health checkup with a doctor to detect multiple sclerosis early, especially if you have a family member who suffers from this disease, and has or is currently suffering from mononucleosis, thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, or inflammatory bowel disease.
If you are a smoker, stop smoking . In addition to containing many toxic substances, cigarettes are also one of the risk factors for multiple sclerosis .