MS can look very differently from person to person.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system in which a patient’s immune system, specifically the white blood cells, attack the myelin sheath around nerve cells, impairing the messages sent from the brain and spine to nerve cells throughout the body. This is a progressive condition which generally begins in adults between the ages of 20 to 40 years old. Foothills Neurology specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of MS. For experienced, individualized multiple sclerosis treatment in Ahwatukee and Scottsdale, you are in good hands with our MS Center of Excellence.
Some individuals experience an attack that lasts a few weeks, then disappears for long periods of time. When it reemerges, the symptoms can be completely different and often become progressively worse. Other people have short periods of remission and deal with generally the same set of symptoms which slowly become more severe.
Multiple sclerosis can be hard to pin down as the symptoms vary greatly and can be inconsistent within each individual. The severity and combination of symptoms are different from person to person.
Symptoms of MS may include:
- Problems with Vision – These may include blurred vision, loss of vision, double vision, dulling of colors, and/or pain when looking up or side-to-side.
- Spasms and Pain – Involuntary muscle movement, or spasms, are common. Pain, even chronic pain, also occurs in about half of all people diagnosed with MS. We can assist you by suggesting pain management techniques and more.
- Numbness and Tingling – Numbness occurs as a result of the neurological signals from the body being unable to make their way to the brain for interpretation. Tingling is, likewise, a misinterpretation of complete signals from the nerves in the body to the brain.
- Disruption to Coordination and Strength – The disruption of signals from the brain to nerves in the muscular system make coordinated movement difficult, resulting in weakness and clumsiness.
- Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction
- Cognitive Issues – These can involve problems with memory, language, attention, and organized thought.
- Emotional Changes – Depression, mood swings, uncontrolled crying and/or laughter, and irritability can be attributed to MS.
How is MS diagnosed?
Diagnosis is the first part of a multiple sclerosis treatment and involves a neurological exam for reduced nerve function, a spinal tap to test for the disease, and an eye exam to look for decrease response times and distortions in vision. Tests are used both to diagnose MS as well as rule out other conditions.
Our experienced team of neurologists specializing in MS has a detailed understanding of the differentiation of MS from other conditions that may present with similar indications. We offer the most current diagnostic tools and testing for fast reliable results. We are also able to differentiate the types of MS: relapsing-remitting MS, secondary-progressive MS, primary progressive MS, progressive-relapsing MS.
How is MS treated?
The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. MS is not necessarily hereditary, but the risk of developing the condition does increase for those with a family history of the disease. While the condition was discovered in 1868, the only advancement in understanding the cause of the disease has been in linking it to inflammation. The inflammation is a major source of the condition, however, the precise cause of the inflammation remains unknown.
Early diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis can decrease the progression of the condition’s symptoms. Multiple sclerosis treatments consist of medication and some natural care, such as dietary recommendations. Medications are aimed at slowing the activity and progression of MS, reducing the duration and severity relapses, and managing the individual symptoms. Our MS specialists identify your specific point in progression as well as the way your symptoms manifest. We create an individualized MS treatment plan for your specific situation.
We offer clinical trials and stay at the cutting edge of development for multiple sclerosis treatment people relies on. To find out more about what we can do to help with your MS treatment schedule a consultation with a neurologist today.