Multiple Sclerosis, also known as “MS”, is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). This disorder is caused by inflammation, the action of the body’s own immune cells attacking its own nervous system. Aforementioned inflammation damages the outer layer of nerve cells, also known as the myelin sheath. When this covering is harmed, nerve signals slow down or altogether stop, making life difficult for the victims of MS. “Although found in both genders, MS affects many more women than men. It usually appears between the ages of 20 and 40, but has been diagnosed at all levels of maturity.” (pubmedhealth) These people may suffer from a multitude of symptoms associated with MS including, but not limited to, loss of balance, heavy fatigue, muscle spasms, dizziness, tremors, weakness, double vision, tingling and numbness, depression, hearing loss, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms vary from patient to patient based on location, treatment, and the overall severity of the disease. MS causes deterioration of the body, but does not however, make one’s life expectancy shorter than normal. Most victims continue to function normally throughout the majority of their lives, working with minimal disability for 20 or more years. This chronic and incurable disease is life-changing, but in most cases, not life-ending.
Although incurable, MS can be tested and treated in a variety of ways. A few tests that can be used to diagnose MS comprise of, Lumbar puncture, MRI brain scan, and a nerve function study. Lumbar punctures are known to be very painful and a dreadful procedure in that the surgeon much use a very extensive needle to “tap” into the patient’s spinal cord for a something called cerebrospinal fluid. Although Lumbar punctures are the most painful, they just so happen to be the most effective, in turn making them the most popular MS test. As far as treatment goes, there is no cure known for this disease....
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