In many parts of the world, Multiple Sclerosis is a household name as it is ranked as the leading cause for debilitation among young adults and for its likelihood of affecting the population at a rate of 1 in 1000. Although these figures vary from region to region, the fact of the matter would be its progressive debilitating potential in a group of people whom are in the prime of their lives.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
MS as it is commonly known is a condition which affects the nerves and the brain and is characterized by the formation of sclerosed or scarred areas on the surface of the nerves in place of the myelin sheath which usually covers such areas. Such sclerosis would result in impaired signal transmission in these nerves and therefore the main manifestations of MS would be neurological. Before an area becomes sclerosed, it may temporary become inflammed due to MS and in such instances, there may not be any permanent deficits related to these nerve pathways. But, with time and with recurrent attacks, the damage would become permanent and the neurological deficits would slowly engulf the active life styles of these individuals.
Are there any other manifestations in MS?
Although Multiple Sclerosis would be primarily affecting the nervous system, the manifestations can extend into many other systems. Thus, these patients can suffer from psychological problems as well as other secondary physical disability and illnesses as the disease progress.
What are the earliest signs of MS?
Although it is rather difficult to distinguish the early signs of MS as belonging to the same or to any other disease, knowing these signs can prompt a person to seek medical advice early rather than neglecting and allowing complications to take place. Thus, following are the signs which are being considered as possible early indications of Multiple Sclerosis.
-Tingling and numbness of certain parts of the skin
-Loss of balance
-Weakness of one or more limbs
-Visual disturbances such as blurring of vision and sometimes even loss of vision
-Slurring of speech…etc.
Among these signs, coordination problems, cognitive dysfunctions as well as slurring of speech could appear early in very few cases whereas rest of the signs would be seen more often among people whom have been detected subsequently of MS.
What are the associated risk factors?
Genetic susceptibility would be playing a significant role in the occurrence of this disease and it has been estimated that the risk of acquiring MS would climb to 1 in 100 from 1 in 1000 in persons whom have a close relative with Multiple Sclerosis. Therefore, interpretation of early signs of MS should be done in association with such possible inheritance which would increase the chance of such symptoms belonging to Multiple Sclerosis.