What Is Multiple Sclerosis? Its Type, Symptoms, Treatments & More

What Is Multiple Sclerosis Its Type, Symptoms, Treatments & More

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, degenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system. It's an unpredictable condition that can range from mild to disabling, and there is currently no cure. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with MS, it's important to understand the different types, what causes them, and what treatments are available. Read on to learn more about this complex disease.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. The immune system protects the body from infections and other foreign invaders. In people with MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin—the protective sheath which covers humans' nerve fibres—and causes inflammation and damage to the nerve fibres. This damage disrupts communication between the brain and the rest of the body.

Different types of Multiple Sclerosis

There are four types of Multiple Sclerosis, each with its symptoms.

  • Relapsing-remitting MS is the most common form of the disease. When the symptoms flare up, it is called an attack or relapse, followed by periods of partial or complete recovery (remissions).
  • Secondary- Progressive MS is characterized by patients with relapses, remitting MS, who have gradually worsening symptoms even when they do not have attacks.
  • Primary-progressive MS is marked by a slowly progressing disease from the start, with no relapses or remissions.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS is a form that has features of both primary progressive and relapsing-remitting MS. It is marked by progression from the onset, with superimposed relapses (but no remission phases).

Multiple Sclerosis Causes

There is no known cause of MS, but it is thought to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors in multiple sclerosis patients. Scientists believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors causes MS. Some people are born with a predisposition to developing MS, which means that they are more likely to develop the disease if exposed to certain environmental triggers.

It is not clear what these triggers might be, but some possible theories include the following:


There is evidence that certain viruses, such as the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mono), may trigger MS.


People who live in northern latitudes (such as Europe, Canada, and Alaska) are more likely to develop MS than those who live in southern latitudes (such as Africa, Asia, and South America). This may be due to differences in vitamin D levels or other environmental factors.


Smoking has been linked with an increased risk of developing MS.


Some studies have suggested that diets high in saturated fats may increase the risk of developing MS.

The average Multiple sclerosis life expectancy for people is around 5 to 10 years lower than average, and this gap appears to be getting smaller all the time.

Multiple Sclerosis symptoms:

The most common signs of Multiple Sclerosis are:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Weakness in the limbs & spasms
  • Coordination and balance problems
  • Bladder and bowel difficulties
  • Vision problems
  • Thinking and memory problems
  • Walking & speaking difficulties
  • Sensitivity to heat which makes symptoms worse

Risks & complication related to Multiple Sclerosis

There are several risks and complications associated with multiple Sclerosis. The effect of multiple Sclerosis is paralysis, which can occur if the disease progresses to the point where the muscles required for movement are affected. Other potential complications include seizures, blindness, and urinary incontinence.

MS can also lead to emotional difficulties, such as depression and anxiety. Dealing with a chronic illness can also take a toll on relationships. It is important to seek out support from family and friends and professional counsellors or therapists if needed.

Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

There is no one test to diagnose multiple Sclerosis (MS). Instead, various tests may rule out other conditions and help confirm the diagnosis.

The process usually begins with a consultation with a neurologist, who will take a detailed medical history and perform a neurological exam. This will be followed by some or all of the following tests:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain and/or spinal cord
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture) to collect cerebrospinal fluid for analysis
  • Blood tests to look for markers of inflammation or other conditions that can mimic MS
  • Evoked potentials test to measure electrical activity in the nervous system in response to stimulation
  • Optical coherence tomography – To look for the signs of MS in the eyes.

Once all the results are in, the neurologist can diagnose Multiple sclerosis disease.

How is Multiple Sclerosis Treatment done?

There are many ways to treat multiple Sclerosis, and the type of treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Treatment may be as simple as taking daily multiple sclerosis medications to manage symptoms for some people. Others may require more aggressive treatment, such as regular injections or infusions of disease-modifying drugs. Some people with MS may even need surgery to correct problems caused by the disease.

There are different medicines for treating attacks & preventing attacks.

No matter what, multiple sclerosis management is necessary. The goal is always to reduce symptom flare-ups and slow the progression of the disease. With early and aggressive treatment, it is possible to improve the quality of life for people with MS significantly.

How to Prevent Multiple Sclerosis?

One of the essential things that can be done to prevent MS is to get early treatment. If you think you may have MS, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent or delay the onset of disability from MS. Several lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of MS or to manage the symptoms if you have already been diagnosed with the condition. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Managing stress levels
  • Avoiding smoking

If you have a family member with MS, you may be at increased risk of developing the condition yourself. However, this doesn't mean that you will develop MS – only that you have a higher chance than someone who doesn't have a family history of the disease.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you know if you have Multiple Sclerosis?

A diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is made based on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests.

Who might get Multiple Sclerosis?

Anyone can get Multiple Sclerosis, though it is most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 and 60.

How can I relieve Multiple Sclerosis?

Ensure you get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and manage stress levels to help relieve Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. Don't forget to follow your doctors' advice & take medication regularly as prescribed.


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