Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Within the CNS, the immune system causes inflammation that damages myelin — the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers — as well as the nerve fibers themselves, and the specialized cells that make myelin.
- When myelin or nerve fibers are damaged or destroyed in MS, messages within the CNS are altered or stopped completely.
- Damage to areas of the CNS may produce a variety of neurological symptoms that will vary among people with MS in type and severity.
- The damaged areas develop scar tissue which gives the disease its name – multiple areas of scarring or multiple sclerosis.
- The cause of MS is not known, but it is believed to involve genetic susceptibility, abnormalities in the immune system and environmental factors that combine to trigger the disease.
- People with MS typically experience one of four disease courses (types of MS). There are over a dozen treatments to help modify the MS disease process.
At this time, there are no symptoms, physical findings or laboratory tests that can, by themselves, determine if you have MS. Several strategies are used to determine if you meet the long-established criteria for a diagnosis of MS, and to rule out other possible causes of whatever symptoms you are experiencing. These strategies include a careful medical history, a neurologic exam and various tests including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), spinal fluid analysis, and blood tests to rule out other conditions.
+ Walking (Gait) Difficulties
+ Numbness or Tingling
+ Vision Problems
+ Dizziness & Vertigo
+ Bladder Problems
+ Sexual Problems
+ Bowel Problems
+ Pain & Itching
+ Cognitive Changes
+ Emotional Changes
LESS COMMON SYMPTOMS
+ Speech Problems
+ Swallowing Problems
+ Breathing Problems
+ Hearing Loss
While there is no definitive blood test for MS, blood tests can rule out other conditions that cause symptoms similar to those of MS, including lupus erythematosis, Sjogren's, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, some infections, and rare hereditary diseases.
- Injectable medications
- Avonex (interferon beta-1a)
- Betaseron (interferon beta-1b)
- Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)
- Extavia (interferon beta-1b)
- Glatiramer Acetate Injection (glatiramer acetate -generic equivalent of Copaxone 20 mg and 40 mg doses)
- Glatopa (glatiramer acetate - generic equivalent of Copaxone 20mg and 40mg doses)
- Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a)
- Rebif (interferon beta-1a)
- Oral medications
- Aubagio (teriflunomide)
- Gilenya (fingolimod)
- Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate)
- Mavenclad (cladribine)
- Mayzent (siponimod)
- Infused medications
- Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)
- Novantrone (mitoxantrone)
- Ocrevus (ocrelizumab)
- Tysabri (natalizumab)
METHODS OF HEALING
Here are some great links and resources to help you as you navigate your Autoimmune Disease.
HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE SUPPORT?
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