Running Head: Multiple Sclerosis- Liberation or Decimation?
Multiple Sclerosis- Liberation or Decimation?
Multiple Sclerosis- Liberation or Decimation?
After a long night out in town Alfonso was ready to call it quits. His friends were saying his speech was slurred, as expected after a few to many beers. He decided to go home take a shower and get some sleep. One of his friends drove him home as Alfonso mumbled that he could have driven home. Once home Alfonso took a shower and checked his email before finally falling asleep. It was around 10 A.M. before Alfonso finally got around to waking up. With a splitting headache Alfonso thought, “Great another hangover”. What Alfonso didn’t know was that that day was the end of life as he had known it and the beginning of a new stage in his life. The first thing he noticed was that he couldn’t see out of his left eye. He had always worn glasses to correct his vision, but he did not see blurred out of it-he did not see out of it at all! What was going on? Why couldn’t he see? Did something happen to him last night? He felt for his eye and it was still there; he quickly went to the mirror and as far as he could tell everything looked normal. Apart from the splitting headache he was feeling Alfonso did not feel any different than how he felt when he had a normal hangover. He closed his right eye trying to focus his vision in his left eye. He placed his fingers inches away from his eye but try as he might he could not make his eye see. Alfonso quickly headed to the emergency room. MRI’s CT scans and many different types of x-rays were performed on him. He was sent to the neurologist to examine the results and explain to him what had happened to his body. The neurologist said with a grim face, “Son you have Multiple Sclerosis”.
Over 250,000 people in the United States alone have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (NCBIH, 2010). That is only the number of people that have been able to get the condition diagnosed. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects 50% more women; it is unknown why that is the case. The farther away a person lives from the equator, the more probable it is that a person will be diagnosed with MS. It is unknown as to why living farther away from the equator you are more likely to be diagnosed with MS but some neurologists believe it is from the lack of sun. Many countries that do not have the equipment to diagnose MS will misdiagnose their patients and can many times lead to a patients deteriorated health. Multiple Sclerosis can be a life threatening disease, but new procedures and new therapies can extend a person with MS’s life and can even lead to recovery from some of the symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis was discovered by French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot in 1868. He was the first person to recognize MS as a distinct disease rather than believe like most neurologist of the time that the symptoms were caused by cerebral swelling. Charcot observed that patients with MS had cognitive changes and would seem to process thoughts at a slower pace. Charcot also found that patients with MS would have lesions on the brain and spinal cord. In 1863, Swiss pathologist Georg Eduard found that the inflammation associated lesions were distributed around many blood vessels ("nationalmssociety", 2011). These discoveries and modern technology have been able to explain more as to what happens when a person has multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the neurons of the spinal cord and brain become demyelinated. When demyelination occurs the myelin sheath surrounding the axons of the neuron become scarred. The scarred myelin sheath causes the signals traveling to and from the brain to get lost or to slow down in its course. If certain tissues are scarred a patient may present signs and symptoms similar to a patient that has had a brain injury. There are different categories of MS, the most common being “relapsing,...
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Clinical Rehabilitation. Chapter 25: Pgs. 14-24 (2011) Comparing endurance- and resistance-exercise training in people with multiple sclerosis: a randomized pilot study.
Journal of Clinical Nursing. Vol. 18 Issue 9, p1231-1238. (2009) Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis Patients.
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. (2010) Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis. Retrieved from http://www.msassociation.org/about_multiple_sclerosis/treating/
National Center for Biotechnology Center. (2006) The social impact of multiple sclerosis a study of 305 patients and their relatives. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10864132
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2010) What is Multiple Sclerosis? Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multiple_sclerosis
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. (2011) How can we treat Multiple Sclerosis? Retrieved from http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple- sclerosis/living-with
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