Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsOther - Diseases · 1 decade ago

Multiple sclerosis?

Can anyone give me information on diagnosis, progression, prognosis, and especially any personal anecdotes? (not antidotes...anecdotes=stories) ;-)

7 Answers

  • i a
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which patches of myelin and underlying nerve fibers in the eyes, brain, and spinal cord are damaged or destroyed.

    The term "multiple sclerosis" refers to the may areas of scarring (sclerosis) that result from loss or destruction of myelin.

    The cause of MS is unknown, but a likely explanation is that a virus or some unknown antigen somehow triggers a reaction directed against the body's own tissues, usually early in life. Heredity seems to have a role in MS. Environment also has a role.

    The symptoms of MS vary greatly, from person to person and from time to time in one person, depending on which nerve fibers are destroyed. MS may progress and regress unpredictably. Common early symptoms include tingling, numbness, pain, burning, and itching in the arms, legs, trunk, or face and loss of strength or dexterity in a leg or hand.

    Because the symptoms vary widely, doctors may not recognize the disorder in its early stages. No single test is diagnostic, but laboratory tests can help doctors distinguish MS from other disorders that produce similar symptoms, such as AIDS, and lupus.

  • 1 decade ago

    MS is diagnosed most commonly with an MRI. Many doctors use a lumbar puncture (aka spinal tap) as well, though this can give false negatives.

    Most people with MS have a relapsing remitting form, meaning that symptoms come & go. After several years, some people start to accumulate more symptoms permanently as the disease progresses (secondary progressing). And in rare cases, progression starts at the onset of disease (primary progressive).

    Symptoms and severity vary so much between individuals, that a person's prognosis is hard to estimate.

    As far as personal anecdotes - I was diagnosed at age 26, though my first definate symptoms were at age 23. I moved into secondary progressive pretty quickly and now at age 31 I use a walker & a wheelchair. I am also unusual because I had a lot of symptom progression during my pregnancies, even though the majority of women go into remission and do great during pregnancy. I wouldn't trade it for the world though. I have two great kids - ages 2 and 3 1/2. And while they absolutely exhaust me, they also are what helps keep me going.

    Source(s): secondary progressive MS use copaxone had 3 treatments of novantrone (chemo) to help stabilize progression last year
  • 1 decade ago

    Symptoms of MS are varied and early ones may include fatigue, numbness, pins and needles, optical neuritis. More severe symptoms can include partial paralyzation, bladder control problems, sexual dysfuntion, cognitive problems, plus a host of other symptoms.

    Diagnosis is usually done by first ruling out every other cause. My first exacerbation was numbness/pins and needles in the left half of my face and I was checked for nerve infections, borreliosis and then had an EEG to check for abnomalities in my brain waves. When all of these came out clear, I was sent for an MRI, which showed three lesions in my brain, one on the nerve controlling the left half of the face. That it was MS was quite obvious then, but I still had a lumbar puncture, which confirmed the dianosis.

    Progression varies from person to person, and on the type of MS the person has. Most neurologist will not even give a tentative progression prognosis until after the first 5-10 years of diagnosis. The first 5 years can often be used as an indicator of the disease's progression, but even then nothing is written in stone.

    Prognosis again depends on the individual person, but in general things have been looking up for MS patients since the release of MS-controlling drugs in the late 90s. Statistics show that MS patients in general have a normal life-span and that only approx. 15% end up in that much dreaded wheel chair (although I don't think this is one of the worst symptoms).

    Anecdotes, my neurologist is a wonderful doctor, but a twit with a needle. I should have suspected it when words like "whoops" and "that's strange" were uttered while he took my lumbar puncture. Not surprisingly, I was one of the few who have problems with the puncture and I spent some 5 days on the couch and 3 days in hospital. Later I went for a bloodtest and he had to poke me 5-6 times, halfway during the poking, he ran out of test tubes and left me holding the needle imbedding in my arm while he went out for more. I left the clinic with lots of little white plasters on my arms, which brought me quite a few suspicious looks in the bus on the way home. The next day my arms looked like they'd been run over by a bus. It was actually quite funny, but my husband was furious. :)

    Source(s): MS-patient
  • Susan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    You can find a wealth of information about MS on this message board:

    For answers to your question about diagnosis, progression, and prognosis you can find lots of good info at

    I have had MS for 8 years and I am still walking unassisted unless I am having a relapse and then I use my cane.

    MS is unpredictable and unique to the individual person. Just like snowflakes, no two cases are alike. The best advice I can give you is, upon diagnosis, get on one of the disease modifying drugs as soon as possible and stay on it. It's our only weapon in the fight against progression and maybe if we can stave off disability long enough, we will live to see a cure.

    Best of luck to you!

  • 1 decade ago

    I can give you a second hand story about my two brothers, who both have MS. They both had different symptoms for years which went undiagnosed because they seemed unrelated to each other (eye problems, sexual disfunction, "seizures",). You can't get tested for MS unless you have two or more of the symptoms. Today, one is mostly in a wheelchair, but he hasn't had any further development of the scleroses, he has regular MRIs and they show no further development. He is on many medications. The other only takes aspirin, last I heard. He walks with a cane, but has to use a wheelchair whenever he has been on a plane trip (has been sitting for an extended period of time) or he will fall. I don't know whether his is progressing or not.

    I had some preliminary symptoms for a couple of years that I didn't realize could be MS, in spite of my brothers' conditions. I found a couple of websites that described drastic changes in diet, which I followed, and the changes were almost immediate for the better. I no longer have any tingling and numbness in my hands at all. I gave up dairy, wheat, meat, and sugar. Today, a few months later, I eat a little sugar and a little dairy (butter), but rarely meat and never red meat, and hardly ever anything with flour. MS can be reversed if you're willing to work with the diet and take a bunch of vitamins (I take fish oil, other oils, and a bunch of other stuff based on my internet research).

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