MS Awareness Week
20 Apr 2018
MS Awareness Week
Ms Awareness Week will be held from Monday 23rd April 2018 until Sunday 29th April 2018 with the primary purpose of raising awareness and support people living with MS. This will be held by MS Trust which is a UK charity that provides trusted information to help people with MS live the best life possible; train and educate MS health professionals to offer the best care and fund MS nurses in the areas of greatest need.
- How can you get involved with MS Awareness Week?
- What is Multiple Sclerosis?
- MS Continued
- How does MS occur?
- How does MS affect the nerves?
- What are the causes of MS?
- What are the symptoms of MS?
- How is MS diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for MS?
- Useful Sources Include
How can you get involved with MS Awareness Week?
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong condition that affects the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. It's a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.
Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS. It's estimated that there are more than 100,000 people diagnosed with MS in the UK. It's most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age. It's about two to three times more common in women than men.
How does MS occur?
MS is an autoimmune condition, which means your immune system mistakes part of your body for a foreign substance and attacks it. In the case of MS, it attacks the myelin sheath in the brain and/or spinal cord. This is the layer that surrounds your nerves, protecting them and helping electrical signals travel from the brain to the rest of the body. The attacks cause the myelin sheath to become inflamed in small patches (plaques or lesions), which can be seen on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
How does MS affect the nerves?
These patches of inflammation can disrupt the messages travelling along the nerves. It can slow them down, jumble them, send them the wrong way, or stop them from getting through completely. This disruption leads to the symptoms and signs of MS. When the inflammation goes away, it can leave behind scarring of the myelin sheath (sclerosis). These attacks, particularly if frequent and repeated, can eventually lead to permanent damage to the underlying nerves.
What are the causes of MS?
• your genes – MS isn't directly inherited, but people who are related to someone with the condition are more likely to develop it; the chance of a sibling or child of someone with MS also developing it is estimated to be around 2-3%
• lack of sunlight and vitamin D – MS is more common in countries far from the equator, which could mean that a lack of sunlight and low vitamin D levels may play a role in the condition, although it's not clear whether vitamin D supplements can help prevent MS
• smoking – people who smoke are about twice as likely to develop MS compared to those who don't smoke
• viral infections – it has been suggested that infections, particularly those caused by Epstein-Barr virus (responsible for glandular fever), might trigger the immune system, leading to MS in some people
What are the symptoms of MS?
• Difficulty walking
• Vision problems such as blurred vision
• Problems controlling the bladder
• Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
• Muscle stiffness, spasms, weakness
• Problems with balance and co-ordination
• Problems with thinking, learning and planning
• Mobility problems
• Speech and swallowing difficulties
• Mental health complications such as depression and anxiety
How is MS diagnosed?
Diagnosing MS is complicated because no single test can positively diagnose it. Other possible causes of your symptoms may need to be ruled out first. It may also not be possible to confirm a diagnosis if you have had only one "attack" of MS-like symptoms. A diagnosis can only be made with confidence once there's evidence of at least two separate attacks, although this may include signs of attacks on an MRI scan that you may not realise you have had. To find out more about MS Diagnosis visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/diagnosis/
What are the treatments for MS?
There's currently no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), but it's possible to treat the symptoms with medications and other treatments. Treatment for MS depends on the specific symptoms and difficulties the person has. To find out more about MS Treatments visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/treatment/