Name: Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks specialized nerve cells (neurons) within the central nervous system. These specialized neurons are characterized by a protein myelin covering that normally speeds up the transmission of electrical impulses to muscle and other tissues throughout the body. The process of MS destroys the protein myelin covering preventing the nerve cells from transmitting electrical impulses necessary for proper function of the body’ muscles and other tissues. MS is characterized by a lifelong series of onset and remission of symptoms (lengths of time in a disease process where no symptoms are noticeable) that slowly lead to permanent disability.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
The signs and symptoms of MS are related to the specific nerve cells and areas of the body that have been affected by the disease process. Signs and symptoms include numbness and tingling or pins and needle sensations in the hands and feet (common early symptom). As the disease progresses, patients begin to report muscle cramping and spasticity. Later in the disease process patients may lose bowel or bladder control, develop a tremor, have difficulty walking (ataxia), experience visual disturbances, heat intolerance, muscular weakness, facial twitching, pain, fatigue, and depression.
Treating Multiple Sclerosis or Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Treatment of MS is mainly geared toward controlling symptoms and disease progression as it is impossible to cure or reverse this illness. Quite often treatment requires the work of an interdisciplinary healthcare team. Physical therapy is required to maintain strength and activity tolerance, a dietician helps to maintain adequate nutrition and support groups and counselors help to maintain mental health. In addition, a complex regimen of medications are used to control symptoms and maintain extended periods of remission. Patients who suffer from MS have reported that the use hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used successfully in conjunction with traditional therapies to maintain longer periods of remission. In addition, patients have reported an improvement in existing symptoms during active occurrences of their MS symptoms. The availability of higher than usual levels of oxygen that is provided during each HBOT treatment increases the amount of oxygen circulating in the blood’s plasma. This means that more oxygen gets to muscle and other tissues which helps relieve pain, muscle fatigue, boosts mental alertness and stimulates long term benefits through the permanent growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).