Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Length: 1122 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

There are several diagnostic tests used to detect Multiple Sclerosis (referred to as MS). An MRI (multilple resonance imaging) can confirm a diagnosis by showing lesions and sites of inflammation in the brain. Although the presence of lesions is common in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, the absence of lesions is not a sign that the disease is not active. An electroencephalogram (EEG) can isolate changes in brain waves when introduced to audio or visual stimuli. The Evoked Potential test measures the speed with which nerve impulses travel. Demyelination significantly reduces the speed of nerve signal transmission and can be detected with this test. Lumbar punctures and spinal taps are also used to test spinal fluids for the presence of certain immuno-proteins present in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.

Facts about Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system and is believed to be immune mediated. This debilitating disorder affects at least 350,000 people in the United States. The disease occurs in young adults with the mean age of onset of 30 years. Women make up 70% of the MS population. This gender preference remains unexplained.

Clinical Features

The symptoms of MS may be mild or severe, of short or long duration and may appear in various combinations, depending on the area of the nervous system affected. Complete or partial remission of symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease occurs in approximately 70% of MS patients.

The initial symptoms of MS are often blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye.

However, visual problems tend to clear up in the later stages of MS. Inflammatory problems of the optic nerve may be diagnosed as retrobulbar or optic neuritis. MS patients will have an attack of optic neuritis at some time or other and it will be the first symptom of MS in approximately 15 percent. This has led to general recognition of optic neuritis as an early sign of MS, especially if test also reveals abnormalities in the patient's spinal fluid.

Most MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance at some time during the course of the disease.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Understanding Multiple Sclerosis." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=34761>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Essay

- Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis There are several diagnostic tests used to detect Multiple Sclerosis (referred to as MS). An MRI (multilple resonance imaging) can confirm a diagnosis by showing lesions and sites of inflammation in the brain. Although the presence of lesions is common in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, the absence of lesions is not a sign that the disease is not active. An electroencephalogram (EEG) can isolate changes in brain waves when introduced to audio or visual stimuli....   [tags: Health Medicine]

Free Essays
1122 words (3.2 pages)

Multiple Sclerosis Is A Progressive Life Essay

- I chose the topic Multiple Sclerosis because my friend 's Mother suffered from this disease as she got older. My friend 's Mother was unable to work because of her condition and she was always in pain. I could never see the pain in her eyes because she was a very happy person, always smiling, and had a joyful spirit. Since she was unable to work, she became a very active member in her church so she did not have to spend her days in bed. Over a short period of time, she could hardly get up the stairs without being in excruciating pain so her husband bought a ranch style house to accommodate her needs....   [tags: Nervous system, Neuron, Axon, Immune system]

Research Papers
1735 words (5 pages)

A Life with Multiple Sclerosis Essay

- ... By using an MRI, it is possible to show lesions in the brain and spinal cord that may be causing the symptoms (MS Focus). Evoked potential tests are also used to help diagnose MS by measuring electrical activity in specific parts of the brain while also showing whether MS has impacted the sensory, visual, or auditory pathways (Cleveland Clinic). Votta 2 A spinal tap, also known as a lumbar puncture, is also a common test many doctors use to help diagnose Multiple Sclerosis (Mayo Clinic). A spinal tap is done by placing a large needle into a patient’s back to get a small sample of spinal fluid to examine for irregular amounts of white blood cells or proteins....   [tags: diagnosis, brain, weakness]

Research Papers
644 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Multiple Sclerosis In The Female Population

- Research shows that nearly four-hundred thousand people in the United States are living with multiple sclerosis today. It is also estimated that approximately two and half million people are living with the disease worldwide. Multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease that affects both the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system. The name multiple sclerosis refers to the scars or lesions that are present in the brain and spinal cord seen on an MRI. An autoimmune disorder is where a person’s immune system mistakes its own white blood cells as invaders and begins to attack itself damaging healthy body tissue....   [tags: Diseases, Disorders]

Research Papers
1491 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Taking a Look at Multiple Sclerosis

- Our bodies spend countless amounts of energy fighting off and defending ourselves from harmful diseases. Diseases come in many shapes and sizes, vastly affecting the systems of our body. One of the most important systems i our body is the nervous system. The nervous system is composed of a complex network of neurons which enables our bodies to incorporate information from the outside world, integrate, and perceive that information. In addition, the nervous system allows us to act through motor control....   [tags: diseases that affect the nervous system]

Research Papers
2600 words (7.4 pages)

Multiple Sclerosis Essay

- Introduction Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating autoimmune disease. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is attacked by the immune system; creating lesions that interrupt the correct signaling of nerves, spinal cord, and brain (Frankel, & James, 2011). Inhibiting development of this disease is crucial for maintaining quality of life and fatigue for individuals with MS. There has been vast amount of research on the effect of various exercise training programs, and their benefits for MS (Motl, & Gosney, 2008, Krupp, 2003, Chen, Fan, Hu, Yang, & Li, 2013)....   [tags: Autoimmune Disease, Nervous System]

Research Papers
1826 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Case Study : ' Get Over It ! Nursing With Multiple Sclerosis '

- The nursing topic I chose to talk about was multiple sclerosis. I decided to write a summary on the journal article called Get Over It. Nursing with Multiple Sclerosis. This journal article was written by a strong willed management nurse who continued to work with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. I found this article to be amazing because this nurse loved nursing so much that she continued to work even though she “…needed a cane and was fatigued all the time.” This nurse stepped down from her management position after getting diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and worked two more jobs as a staff nurse....   [tags: Nursing, Nurse, Legal nurse consultant, Nurses]

Research Papers
718 words (2.1 pages)

Multiple Sclerosis Essay

- Multiple Sclerosis The primary objective of this paper is to raise fundamental questions in regards to multiple sclerosis, and to explore possibilities that attempt to answer these inquiries. Second, the prospective outcome is to provide a solid knowledge base for which my peers may begin to understand the relationship between multiple sclerosis and neurobiology and behavior. The first question to address in the general schema of this essay is: What is Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis also commonly referred to as MS is considered an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS)....   [tags: Health Medical Medicine Essays]

Research Papers
1213 words (3.5 pages)

Multiple Sclerosis Essay

- The name itself is revealing: multiple, more than one, and sclerosis, which refers to areas of sclerotic (scarred) tissue. Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease of the white matter of the central nervous system.These areas of sclerosis, also referred to as lesions or plaques, occur in the white matter of the central nervous system. Gray matter consists primarily of nerve cells. Axons (nerve fibers) are the connections between the cell body and the muscles, sensory organs, and primary organs such as the heart....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1481 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Ms. An Autoimmune Disease

- Currently there are more than 2.5 million individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) worldwide (5). MS is an autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of the myelin sheath and the interruption of nerve impulses throughout the brain and spinal cord, culminating in the loss of physical and cognitive function (5). Being that MS is so complex and multifaceted means the attitude towards study needs to be both meticulous and comprehensive. The approach to MS research is twofold as it focuses on developing an understanding of the evolutionary factors and etiological mechanisms that have contributed to the intricate nature of the disease thus encouraging the development comprehensive...   [tags: Multiple sclerosis, Nervous system]

Research Papers
896 words (2.6 pages)

Related Searches

These symptoms may be severe enough to impair walking or even standing. In the worst cases, MS can produce partial or complete paralysis. Spasticity, the involuntary increased tone of muscles leading to stiffness and spasms-is common, as is fatigue. Fatigue may be triggered by physical exertion and improve with rest, or it may take the form of a constant and persistent tiredness.

Most people with MS also exhibit paresthesias, transitory abnormal sensory feelings such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles" sensations; uncommonly some may experience pain. Loss of sensation may occur. Speech impediments, tremors, and dizziness are other frequent complaints. Occasionally, hearing loss is exhibited as well.

Approximately, half of all people with MS experience cognitive impairments such as poor concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgement. However, such symptoms are often overlooked and are only detectable through comprehensive testing.

All in the family or not? Genetic and Non-Genetic Risk Factors

Genetic predisposition is found to be involved in MS. A recent study found that familial clustering of MS cases was explained solely by genetic factors. The familial rate of MS (combining first, second, and third degree relatives) is as high as 20%. The risk of developing MS increases if there is a close relative with the disease. It is greatest for the sister of a female patient, who has a 25-fold increased chance of developing MS compared to the general population. Despite these data supporting the importance of genetic factors in MS, no abnormal genes have been found. MS twin studies find the concordance rate of monozygotic twins no more than 21-40%. However, it has been argued that incomplete penetrance of MS susceptibility genes in monozygotic twins argues in favor of environmental factors superimposed on genetic predisposition.

It is likely that MS disease susceptibility is polygenic. To date, the only clear-cut gene locus linked to MS has been the MHC, with the class II alleles in particular have the strongest association.

Neuropathology

The earliest pathological change in MS is the penetration of lymphocytes from the systemic blood compartment into the CNS. This penetration occurs across endothelial cells, particularly the venules within white matter. Initially, CD4 lymphocytes predominate in the perivascular exudate. This cell penetration is the beginning of a cascade that culminates in formation of the demyelinated plaque, the neuropathologic lesion of MS. Diverse cells follow, including CD8 and other T cells; B cells and plasma cells; and macrophages/monocytes expressing class II histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens. Local activation of adjacent glial and endothelial cells occurs with resident CNS macrophages (microglia) expressing class II antigen, as well as occasional astrocytes. There is local production of cytokines, immunoglobulins, and enzymes such as proteinases and lipases. Myelin damage occurs within 1 or 2 days of initial cell penetration. The macrophages begin to strip myelin from axons, leading to demyelination and to a lesser extent axonal injury. Oligodendroyctes initially proliferate and remyelinate, but ultimately oligodendrocytes disappear from the plaque lesion.

Antibodies to MBP and less commonly PLP can be found in the CSf and the brain of MS patients. MBP antibodies appear to correlate with more prominent inflammatory changes. Studies have looked at the lymphocytes within MS brain tissue, in particular T cells and their receptors, and T cell receptor variable (V), diversity (D), and junctional (J) gene rearrangements.

Therapeutic Interventions

Although no definitive drug cure is available, various drugs are used to subdue symptoms and reduce the frequency of relapses. These treatments cannot totally arrest the disease. However, they do make it possible for many sufferers to live normal functioning lives. Synthetic interferon is also used to slow disabling factors and reduce relapses. Corticosteroids or ACTH, can shorten the duration of attacks and reduce inflammation. Non-drug treatments such as exercise and physical therapy may be beneficial in maintaining coordination and strengthening muscles, while speech therapy can help with difficulties swallowing and speaking.

Works Cited

Brunot, E.; & Marcus, J. C. (1999). Multiple sclerosis presenting as a single mass lesion. Pediatric Neurology. 20:5; 383-386.

Clark, C.A.; Werring, D.J.; & Miller, D.H. (2000). Diffusion imaging of the spinal cord in vivo: Estimation of the principal diffusivities and application to multiple sclerosis. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 43:1; 133-138.

Coyle, P.K. (1996). The neuroimmunology of Multiple sclerosis. Advances in Neuroimmunology. 6; 143-154.

Guterman, H.; Nehmadi, Y.; Chistyakov, A.; Soustiel, J.; Hafner, H.; & Feinsod, M. (2000). Classification of brain-stem trigeminal evoked potentials in multiple sclerosis, minor head injuries and post-concussion syndrome pathologies by similarity measurements. International Journal of Medical Informatics. 60:3; 303 - 318.

For information regarding Multiple Sclerosis: http://www.msnet.org/
Return to 123HelpMe.com