Types of MS and How They Affect You

MS is a complex condition and there are many different types of MS. Frequently no two people experience the same thing. In fact it is often said that each of the 3 million sufferers in the world will tell a different story and that each have their own unique type of MS.

Because of that it is particularly difficult for doctors to diagnose MS in the first place and there have even been stories of people who have been diagnosed with MS who were subsequently found not to have MS and all and vice versa. There are in fact seven defined different types of MS but most experts generally now agree on four main types. They are as follows.

Benign: some 20% of sufferers have a benign form of MS in which disability is minimal even after many years. Deterioration is still possible though, in spite of the disease remaining inactive in many years.

Relapsing remitting: this is the most common and unpredictable form of MS with 60% of sufferers falling into this category. Symptoms come and go, affecting different parts of the body with varying severity and patients often recover from attacks at first but there is usually a gradual worsening over time.

Chronic progressive: around 10% of sufferers have this form of MS where there is a slow but steady deterioration with no clear attacks or remissions.

Rapidly deteriorating: this is the most shares form of the disease, affecting around 10% of cases, and is a result of widespread demyelination of the nerves in the brain. This type of MS takes a ” galloping” form and can be fatal in around 5 to 10 years.

Despite what many people think MS does not greatly affect life expectancy in most cases. Except in those small percentage of cases of ” galloping MS” the disease is not what doctors call a terminal illness. Although mobility is usually affected towards the end of a sufferers life only one in five will end up needing a wheelchair.

I made a conscious decision a few years ago that I was going to do everything in my power to beat and if possible reverse my MS. The obvious place to start for me was with my diet and I made significant changes to my food consumption. This has led to an overall improvement in all of my symptoms and some of them have completely disappeared. Diet is the one thing that every person has complete control over and no one with MS should waste any time in changing to a diet which can only help their situation.

Secrets of Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis is a disorder in which a persons own immune mechanisms attack the nervous system(myelin sheath of the nerve cells is inflamed) and leads to disability, blindness and sometimes even paralysis. This was first identified as a disease as far back as 1860s; nevertheless the exact reason for this disease is still a mystery. There are several factors that are thought to actually contribute to the disease, which changes itself as different symptoms that can show as so minor and are not recognized, and most often they can leave a person fully disabled or dead.

Several people around the globe suffer from this disease, doctors and researchers are in the process of finding out the reason for this disease. But more importance is given in finding out a cure. Recently a treatment called as stem cell therapy, has received a lot of attention from the scientific world.There is a lot of research on stem cells its cure, which are showing amazing results.

Recent technological advancement in stem cell research has shown that it is possible to reverse the symptoms of multiple sclerosis with stem cells replacement. As this is still in the laboratory stage some measure of success has been achieved in independent studies conducted at several independent Universities and Research Centers.

In this therapy, stem cells are introduced into the patient’s body. Stem cells are naive (immature) cells which can be extracted from the placenta. They have the ability to form into many several types of cells like skin, bone, eye cells etc., As these are injected into the body they start secreting a growth factor, and these growth factors form new blood cells in the blood vessels.Which are healthy and active, they replace the diseased cells in the patient. These new cells keep on increasing in number until disease causing cells are completely replaced with the healthy cells. This process is far better than any painful surgery or chemotherapy or radio therapy. Furthermore this treatment is cost effective when compared to other treatments and is safe in all the ways, as the patients own stem cells are used in most of the cases i.e they are removed from the patient’s own bone marrow are then injected back into the blood stream.

One of the drawbacks of this treatment is that this technology is not accessible in all parts of the globe mostly in developed countries. One has to travel any one of these countries for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

While the results from this therapy are impressive, the treatment of multiple sclerosis with stem cells is still in its early stages and much research needs to be held. Researchers are in the process to confirm, if the immune system can actually be completely reset or if it is suppressed as a chronic condition. We should be very optimistic that this type of therapy will help those patients in the advanced stages.

All About Multiple Sclorosis

Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is known to affect more than 250,000 people world wide and 400,000+ people in the United States of America alone! This disease affects more women than men, and most people show the first signs of this degenerative disease between 20 to 40 years of ages.

A chronic and potentially incapacitating disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system or the brain and spinal cord areas in your body. Believed to be an autoimmune disorder, MS is a condition where the patient’s immune system produces antibodies against their own body.

These antibodies and WBCs (White blood corpuscles) are then directed against proteins in the “myelin” sheath. The myelin sheath is made up of fatty substance that protects the nerve fibers in the spinal cord and brain. This attack usually results in injury and swelling to the myelin sheath and ultimately to the surrounding nerves. The injury leads to scarring or sclerosis in multiple areas of the central immune system, thus damaging the nerve signals and control muscle coordination as well as vision, and strength.

The nature of it is unpredictable and it can vary in severity from person to person. While some people experience only mild illness, it can lead to permanent disability in many others. Treatments for MS can help in modifying the course of this illness while relieving symptoms as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The signs and symptoms are wide and varied. More often than not, they depend on the area where nerve fibers have been affected. Some of the common symptoms of it include:

– Feeling of weakness or numbness in one or both limbs. The feeling usually starts on one side of the body or begins in the bottom half of the body.

– Full or partial loss of vision, typically starts with one eye at a time accompanied by some pain when making eye movement

– Blurring of vision or experiencing double vision

– A tingling or painful sensation in some parts of the body

– Experience of tremor, inability to walk straight, or lack of proper coordination

– Dizziness

– Fatigue

– Muscle stiffness or spastic movement

– Slurred Speech

– Full or Partial paralysis

– Issues with bowel, bladder or sexual functions

– Forgetfulness/memory loss

– Lack of concentration

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

There are 3 forms of multiple sclerosis:

Relapsing-remitting MS: Almost 80% people are affected by this type of MS. There are visible relapses with some amount of recovery in between.

Secondary progressive MS: Technically secondary progressive MS is a form of progressive MS, but chances of relapse are mainly in early-to-mid stages. There is slow and regular loss of cognitive and physical functions. 50% of those who suffer from relapsing remitting MS develop this type of within 10 years of diagnosis.

Primary progressive MS: There are no relapses in this type of multiple sclerosis. However, there is loss of cognitive and physical functions over a period of time. About 10% people are affected by this type of it.

© CG Groth Inc 2007

What Are the Side Effects of Interferon Therapy For MS?

One the most common medications used to treat the symptoms of MS is Interferon therapy. Beta Interferon therapy is considered a disease modifying agent, this means that the medication is designed to alter the way the disease continues to behave in the patient’s body rather than actually offer any type of relief from the current symptoms.  However due the nature of the medication and its ability to suppress the immune system there have been reports of side effects that can range from mild to very serious and a patient should take the time to be aware of all of them before making the choice to use this type of therapy.

One of the most common side effects of Interferon therapy is a flu like illness. These symptoms range from chills and headaches to muscle and joint pains. They can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While most patients can gradually become tolerant of these unpleasant side effects over time and can take drugs like ibuprofen to help lessen the impact of the symptoms they are none the less very unpleasant.

Psychiatric side effects of Interferon therapy for MS have received a lot of coverage and while many are not sure if they are a result of the drug or the disease it is being use to treat, it must be noted. Most multiple sclerosis patients are at risk for depression and studies show that these risks are elevated in many patients who are undergoing Interferon therapy and should be closely monitored. Other mental issues that have been noted with this type of therapy are irritability, confusion, emotional instability and insomnia. If the patient exhibits any of these side effects immediate medical help should be consulted.

Among the list of the more severe side effects of Interferon therapy for MS is the possibility of developing thyroid dysfunction and or liver disease. Due to these increased risks patients should be continuously monitored for these issues. Women who are either pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant should not undertake Interferon as a recent study has shown a significant rise in the rate of stillbirths and low birth weight babies to those on therapy. Before undergoing any form of medication and therapy do your research and make an informed decision as to what is best for you and your body.