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What Happens To A Person With Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease that lasts for a long period of time and it mainly affects the brain, optic nerve and the spinal cord. This disease disturbs the function of the central nervous system. It causes improper flow of information between the body and brain and vice versa.

The etiology or cause of Multiple sclerosis is still yet to be found out. It mainly occurs due to certain environmental and genetic factors. It essentially occurs after the age of 20. It is more common amongst women than men. This is a non-curable disease that lasts as long as you live. Only symptomatic treatment can be given.

What Happens To A Person With Multiple Sclerosis?

What Happens To A Person With Multiple Sclerosis?

One of the theories proposed to explain the cause of multiple sclerosis is that there is an autoimmune reaction against the myelin sheath that covers and protects the nerves of our body. Due to damage to these nerves there is disturbance in the information distribution from brain to the body parts. Mainly the spinal cord, brain and the optic nerve are affected. Due to this the following symptoms are seen first in the patient.

  • Diplopia or double vision
  • Blurring of vision
  • Weakness of muscles
  • Sometimes stiffness of muscles
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Tingling sensation in arms, trunk, face or legs
  • Numbness in arms, trunk, face or legs
  • Lethargy
  • Loss bladder control
  • Bowel dysfunction like diarrhea or constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Improper gait due to inability to balance the body

There are four types Multiple sclerosis depending on the extent of illness.

Primary Progressive MS. In this type the disease keeps on getting worse day by day. The recovery may occur very little or there may be no recovery at all. The patients are mostly older who suffer from this type of MS. The chance of disability is more and is seen earlier than other kinds of Multiple sclerosis.

Relapsing Remitting MS. This is the most common type of Multiple sclerosis. The disease shows symptoms in the early age of 20 years. The characteristic feature of this type is that from time to time relapses are seen in the disease and are followed by a certain time period of recovery phase called as remission phases.

Secondary Progressive MS. This is seen in patients who have relapsing and remitting Multiple sclerosis. First the relapsing and remitting MS lasts for many years and then the secondary progressive Multiple sclerosis is seen. This type is harder to treat.

Progressive Relapsing MS. This type of Multiple sclerosis is least common amongst all the types. In this type the relapses occur very often and the symptoms keep on getting worse.

Treatment Options For Multiple Sclerosis

There is no definitive treatment available to cure Multiple sclerosis but following are the options available to treat the disease symptomatically.

Corticosteroids. These help by suppressing the immune system leading to decrease in the inflammation. This drug can control the flare-ups.

Beta Interferons. Beta interferons surely help in slowing the progression of the disease but they are of no help in controlling the disability caused by the disease.

Natalizumab. Helps in reducing disability and relapses. But this drug may cause serious brain infection called leukoencephalopathy.

Cannabis Extract. This helps in reducing muscle stiffness, pain and insomnia.

Physical Therapy. This therapy helps to make maximum use of the involved part of body.

Vitamin D Supplements. It is found that Multiple sclerosis is linked with vitamin D deficiency and so; the patient is given vitamin D supplements.

Speech Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis

Vocational Rehabilitation. This focuses on teaching the patient with disabilities; about different works they can do and help them find a suitable job.

Cognitive Rehabilitation. The ability of thinking is improved with this therapy.

Occupational Therapy. This is helpful to make patient capable of carrying out routine activities and helps to reduce disability.


The person suffering from Multiple sclerosis may or may not show symptoms. It all depends on the intensity and the type of disease. The early symptoms seen are as described above and later on sings of disability like inability to move the affected part, disfigurement of that part, etc. may occur in severe cases.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2019

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