What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the myelin covering of its nerves and brain tissue. This results in inflammation and damage to these nervous system structures, resulting in disruption in nerve signals. These changes affect motor function, manifested as loss of balance and coordination, spasticity, and uncontrolled muscle movements. Loss of vision (usually in one eye) and fatigue are also common. Most patients have a relapsing remitting type of condition, where there are intervals with mild or no symptoms followed by sudden flare-ups. This can last for years and later deteriorate to a progressive condition. A less common type of disease features a progressive condition with no periods of remission.
Multiple sclerosis affects about 350,000 peole in the US and 100,000 in the UK. Caucasians and women are more likely to be affected at an average age of 30, although children and elderly individuals may also get the disease.
The Role of Interferon in the Management of Multiple Sclerosis
There is no cure for MS and management of the disease focuses on relief of symptoms, reducing relapses, delaying progression and treating its complications. This involves the use of steroids, which may reduce inflammation and relieve its symptoms, disease modifying drugs, which can help d...
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Medicine Net. Multiple Sclerosis. http://www.onhealth.com/multiple_sclerosis/article.htm
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Interferons. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/treatments/medications/interferons/index.aspx
WebMD. Should I have disease-modifying therapy for multiple sclerosis? http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/should-i-have-disease-modifying-therapy-for-multiple-sclerosis
Shirani A, Zhao Y, Karim M, et al. Association Between Use of Interferon Beta and Progression of Disability in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. JAMA. 2012;308(3):247-256. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7625.
MNT. Add-On Daclizumab Treatment May Be Better In Reducing Multiple Sclerosis Disease Activity Than Interferon Beta Alone. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179245.php
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