How are MS attacks treated Why are there different drugs to treat attacks of MS

MS is characterized by unpredictable attacks of neurologic symptoms that vary greatly in type and severity. After being diagnosed, all patients are familiar with at least one symptom. They are concerned about recovering from the difficulty as soon as possible. Generally, recovery follows all attacks whether treatment is given or not. The speed of recovery is the only predictable outcome that is affected by treatment. If a patient cannot perform his or her responsibilities at home or at work,...

Is MS hereditary

Genetic factors are recognized as playing a role in MS. This is not to say that they cause MS. Although MS is typically a disease of people of European ancestry, it also occurs in African Americans, who share genes common in both African and European populations. The observation that MS is about one half as common in African Americans as white Americans would seem to correlate with a risk related to European ancestry. Among Europeans, MS is much more common in northwestern Europe, particularly...

Why do some patients with MS become unable to urinate when they have to urinate all day and night

Emptying the bladder is the result of three parts of the bladder functioning in sequence. To empty the urine from the bladder effectively, the bladder wall (the detrusor muscle) has to contract. When the pressure in the bladder has reached the right level, and only then, the bladder neck will normally relax and then the internal sphincter will relax. If the external sphincter is relaxed, voiding will occur. Sometimes, early in the course of MS, the bladder may not...

What is Tysabri and why was the drug withdrawn from the market

Natalizumab (Tysabri) is a monoclonal antibody to an adhesion molecule (VLA-4) that was approved November 2004 on the basis of a marked (66 ) reduction of MS exacerbations, a 91 reduction in MRI gadolinium-enhancing brain lesions, and a good safety and tolerance profile. This reduced exacerbation rate was sustained through the entire 2 years of the study. In addition, these effects were accompanied by an impressive 42 reduction in the risk of sustained progression of disability for the 2 years...

Is memory affected with MS

Confusion can accompany attacks and can be associated with memory difficulty, but this is not defined as true memory impairment. It is associated with generally impaired Cognition cognition. Anxiety and or depression also can rob a ability to reason. person of their ability to maintain attention. When the anxiety or depression abates, memory is again normal. However, memory complaints tend to increase with the duration of illness and disability. The recent Avonex...

Do all people with MS become disabled

Some neurologists, many in academic circles, have a perception that MS is predictably associated with disability. Before the advent of new testing procedures, particularly MRI of the brain and spinal cord, many patients were not diagnosed during life. Without proven treatments, there was little incentive to do so in those without disability. The training of many more neurologists in recent years has led to greater availability of neurologic consultation therefore, a larger proportion of...

Can stress cause MS

Stress has been shown to be an aggravating factor in MS but not a causal factor. More than 30 years ago, in conjunction with the McGill department of psychiatry in Montreal, we found that major life stress such as death or serious illness in a child or other family member, marital discord, and loss of employment was three to four times more common in MS patients than in medical patients who had been referred to psychiatrists for psychiatric consultation and care. Moreover, this stress was...

Can I go blind with MS

Although visual loss accompanying attacks of MS, diagnosed as optic neuritis or retrobulbar neuritis, may occasionally be severe, blindness is unusual. There may be a small blind spot left after an attack, and occasionally, this may be large enough to interfere with vision. Glaucoma, which is another type of eye disease, unrelated to MS, is more common as a cause of blindness in MS patients. My vision problems range from a bit of blurriness to a complete lack of sight. I inherited extreme...

What is white matter

Image White Matter

The outermost layer of the brain is the cortex or gray matter, which is made up of brain cells neurons . The cortex completely covers the white matter, which is the greatest part of the brain and serves to connect different neurons. The neurons in the cortex send nerve fibers axons to and receive axons from other parts of the brain and spinal cord. White matter is largely made of myelin and gets its name because it has a lot of fat in it and looks whitish. Although MRI pictures allow us to...

What is a macrophage

Charcot Sketch Plaque

Macrophages meaning big eaters are actually monocytes from the blood stream that have been turned on by interacting with lymphocytes, which themselves have been turned on by other macrophages that have encountered a foreign protein. These cells have an amazing appetite and ability to damage tissue. For example, in tuberculosis, macrophages cause the tissue damage to lungs and other tissues. In MS, as seen in Figures 4 and 5, macrophages appear to be the primary cause of myelin damage. Using an...