Multiple Sclerosis is a condition I saw a lot of whilst working in CZD Children’s Hospital in Warsaw. It is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms that cause disability.
Symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty walking, vision problems, problems with bladder, number, tingling, muscle stiffness/spasms, problems with balance and co-ordination, and learning problems.
Multiple Sclerosis can be relapsing-remitting or primary progressive. Relapsing-remitting MS means that the patient will have episodes or new/worsening symptoms. Periods between attacks are known as ‘remission’. After many years most people with relapsing-remitting MS go on to develop secondary-progressive MS. Primary progressive MS is the gradual worsening of symptoms.
MS is an autoimmune condition. This is when something goes wrong with the immune system and it mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body. In MS, this is when the immune system attacks the payer that surrounds and protects the nerves caused the myelin sheath. This damages and scars the sheath, and potentially the underlying nerves meaning that messages travelling along the nerves become slowed or disrupted.
MS can be treated by short courses of steroid medication to speed up patient recovery and other disease-modifying therapies.
The outlook for people with MS is rarely fatal, but other complications in patient lives can arise. Their life expectancy is 5 to 10 years lower than average.