During MS awareness week this year the organisation are encouraging people to dress up in blue for a to raise money for the MS Trust.
What is MS and what causes it?
· Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord
· The causes are not well understood, some factors thought to be linked include exposure to certain viruses and carrying certain genes but there is no definitive answers at the moment
· MS is not considered an inherited condition as it’s not passed on in a predictable way and most people have no family history of MS
Types of MS
· Relapsing remitting MS– the majority of people with MS are diagnosed with this form. This means they will have periods when symptoms flare up followed by periods of good or complete recovery. Some relapses are mild but every relapse is different and it isn’t possible to predict when relapses will happen or how often.
· Secondary progressive MS– many people initially diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS find that over tine their MS changes. They have fewer or no relapses but their disability increases. As this follows an initial primary relapsing remitting phase, this is known as secondary progressive MS.
· Primary progressive MS– in this type of MS, disability increases from the beginning and it is rare to have any relapses. However the rate of progression varies from person to person and there may be times of improvement or times where symptoms remain the same.
Symptoms of MS
There are a wide range of possible symptoms but most people experience only a small number around the time of diagnosis and won’t go on to experience them all. Some of the most common first symptoms:
· Pins and needles or numbness
· Slowed thinking
· Problems with eyesight
ll of these early symptoms can also be symptoms of other conditions. If you are concerned that you may have warning signs of MS, it is important to consult a health professional so that you can get the correct diagnosis.
· Managing MS well usually involves using several approaches at once. As everyone’s MS is different, the best combination of treatments will be different for each person. Treatment may include medication, physiotherapy, complimentary or alternative medicines.