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What is sclerosis? Symptoms and treatment

Information about multiple sclerosis accumulated gradually in medicine, and it was not until the 70s of the 19th century that the distinguished neurologist Jean Charcot summarized these scattered data. Since then, the “Charcot triad” is known, the identification of which by a neurologist can with a high degree of probability speak of a diagnosis.

It should be noted that the term has nothing to do with absent-mindedness, as a personality trait, and is also not a “sclerosis” in the everyday sense, when they want to remind of forgetfulness.

In this case, the name “sclerosis” characterizes morphological changes in the nervous tissue, in which the nerve sheath is replaced by scar tissue, that is, it is sclerosed. And the word “scattered” means that this disease does not have a single source of localization, like, for example, a stroke.


Multiple sclerosis - what is it and how long does it live with it?

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a long-term, chronic disease that affects only the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). At the same time, the myelin multilayered membrane of the nerve conductors is disrupted, which violates the conduction of the impulse, both down to the executive organs and upward, to the analytical centers of the cortex.

It is important that only the white matter is affected, that is, the pathways. The bodies of neurons that are in the gray matter of the brain and spinal cord are not subject to pathological changes.

The international name is SD (sclerosis disseminatus), which in Latin means “multiple sclerosis”. In the Russian medical literature the abbreviation RS is adopted.

Multiple sclerosis - what is it and how long does it live Many patients, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, ask: what is it and how long does it live? The doctor should not hide the truth: disability in MS is inevitable, but if properly treated, you can postpone its appearance for decades, and live the young years fully, and in old age reduce its manifestations to a minimum.

So, for example, women with rare relapses, completely reversible, who have not had a progression of symptoms for 5 years, and have fallen ill before the age of 25 have the greatest chances. MS is a pathology in which a later onset speaks of a more severe course.

Causes or Who are multiple sclerosis?

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

The tragedy of the disease largely lies in the fact that patients with multiple sclerosis are young people of the most flourishing age. Many diseases of the central nervous system affect the elderly (strokes, parkinsonism, dementia).

RS "mows down" the most able-bodied part of the population, aged 18 to 45 years. After 50 years, the risk of debut of the disease is significantly reduced.

Since the exact cause of multiple sclerosis has not yet been identified, the researchers pay attention to all the factors that can at least say something about the increased risk of disease.

It was found that:

  • the population of northern countries is sick much more often than people in the tropics. Some scientists believe that this is due to a lack of solar exposure and vitamin D deficiency;
  • also in women, multiple sclerosis is almost three times more common than in men. But at the same time, male MS is much more severe;
  • more likely to get sick of people of European nationalities, and people of the Mongoloid race are practically unfamiliar with this disease;
  • living in large agglomerations and industrial centers are sick more often than in villages. Perhaps this is due to a bad environmental situation;
  • patients with MS almost always have lowered uric acid in the blood. Therefore, people with gout and hyperuricemia may not worry.
  • Also, many researchers tend to consider the cause of severe stress and depression, smoking, and frequent infectious diseases.

As can be seen from the above facts, the nature of the MS is still a mystery.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

In a disease such as multiple sclerosis, the symptoms are exactly the same as in many other neurological diseases. One by one, they can be found in stroke and in diabetic damage to the nervous system. But MS is characterized by their specific alternation, combination, and also the “influx” of some manifestations on others.

The symptoms of the initial stage of multiple sclerosis are quite characteristic:

  1. Optic neuritis on the one hand, with a transient decrease in vision. Often, then comes full recovery, and only a few years later begins the real "attack" of the RS.
  2. Urinary Disorders. Sometimes they are so delicate that only a careful questioning of the doctor for the first time draws the patient’s attention to this problem. As a rule, there is either a delay in urination when trying to urinate, or imperative urges for which you need to “hurry to the toilet”.
  3. Various disorders of strength in the arms and legs, often one-sided, in the type of light paralysis - paresis.
  4. Perhaps the appearance of focal neurological symptoms: the emergence of nystagmus (tremor of the eyeballs), the appearance of a symptom of internal ophthalmoplegia, dizziness, cerebellar disorders, etc.
  5. Severe fatigue.

Often, a real “attack” of the disease occurs after thermal procedures. It has long been observed that patients with the slightest suspicion of multiple sclerosis are prohibited baths, saunas, hot baths and showers, trips to tropical countries. You also can not be long in the heat and sunbathe.

With an increase in symptoms and a clinically pronounced course of MS, it can produce a variety of symptoms:

  • Sensitive disturbances: "crawling goosebumps", reduced sensitivity on the skin, reduced temperature and pain sensitivity. Sometimes sensitive ataxia develops - the patient needs to see his limbs to control their movement. So, in the dark, such a person will not be able to walk and will fall, because he needs to see his legs;
  • Oculomotor disturbances: double vision (diplopia), as well as multidirectional movements of the eyeballs when trying to look at a nearby object;
  • Extrapyramidal disorders, which consist in severe shaking of the limbs (tremor). This is a very serious condition in which patients are helpless, because, for example, they cannot drink, because they can break a glass against their teeth, cannot eat, so sometimes the hand is shaking so that you can damage the eye with a spoon;
  • Bulbar symptoms (swallowing disorders, gagging, blurring and slurred speech);
  • Paralysis of limbs, proceeding along the central type, with pronounced muscle spasm, stinging pains;
  • Sleep perversion: insomnia at night and sleepiness during the day.

In addition to the above symptoms, there are other disorders.

PC forms

There are several forms of multiple sclerosis that vary in the course of the disease:

  • Primary - progressive: all the time, only worse, new symptoms join, and old ones do not go away. It happens infrequently;
  • Remitting, with the presence of relapses. It happens very often: first there is an aggravation, then it completely or almost completely disappears. Then the exacerbation is repeated, perhaps heavier than the past;
  • Secondary - progressive: after a remitting course, progression occurs.

There are other types of currents, on which there is no sense to stop.

Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Currently, the treatment of multiple sclerosis is a very difficult and expensive task. Suffice it to say that one injection can cost up to a hundred thousand rubles at a cost. But, in some cases, you can get by with more affordable drugs.

  1. The main goal of therapy is to prevent the development of an exacerbation, and if it has arisen, to stop its manifestations. For this purpose, corticosteroid hormones are used in the mode of pulse therapy and cytostatics (cyclophosphamide).
  2. The second goal is to change the course of the disease and achieve sustained remission. There is a group of drugs that are called PITRS - drugs that change for multiple sclerosis. These include interferon preparations, some cytostatics and monoclonal antibodies. All of them are very expensive, and domestic analogues have many side effects. Getting these medicines for free by Russian patients is a big problem.
  3. The third goal is symptomatic treatment of neurological disorders (muscle relaxants, vitamins, massage, physiotherapy, treatment of urination disorders).
  4. The fourth goal is social adaptation of the patient, which is in the stage of disability.

The treatment of such patients is a complex task that requires the participation of many specialists: neurologists, rehabilitologists, massage therapists, urologists, and electrophysiologists.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that multiple sclerosis is a "marker" of the success of health care in the state. Treatment is expensive, the adaptation of persons with disabilities is a major social problem.

Nevertheless, recent advances in medicine allow us to hope that the course of the disease can be completely controlled, avoiding exacerbations.


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