Multiple sclerosis in young people: causes and methods of treatment
If you think that sclerosis can only be senile, then, on the one hand, you are mistaken, but on the other – you are lucky. This means that you have not experienced this disease in your experience, although you could have been in 20 years. About how the immune system attacks its own brain, why living in Russia is already a risk factor, and what symptoms you should be afraid of – in the material of the neurologist, Ph.D. Sergey Petrov.In everyday life, we often use the word “sclerosis”, meaning forgetfulness. However, in fact, the medical term is derived from the Greek word skleros (solid) and means the process of compacting various organs and tissues, replacing their elements with fibrous (connective) tissue.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the nervous system, in which there are multiple scattered foci of demyelination (destruction of myelin) in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the disease have nothing to do with senile dementia, human intelligence, as a rule, remains intact.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune damage to the nervous system, in which the human immune system mistakenly takes the white matter of the brain (mainly myelin – the sheath of nerves) for an alien structure and begins to fight with it.
The number of patients with autoimmune diseases is increasing every year, as people are less in contact with nature, and the immune system receives less and less pressure from the outside. There is no single cause of the disease of multiple sclerosis, but there are a number of factors that can increase its likelihood. These factors include: living in the northern latitudes (in Russia, Canada and the Scandinavian countries – the highest incidence in the world), vitamin D deficiency, belonging to a Caucasoid race and genetic predisposition.
Unfortunately, at the moment, markers clearly associated with multiple sclerosis have not yet been discovered, there are only markers of a general propensity for autoimmune diseases. Often, patients with multiple sclerosis have other similar illnesses, such as bronchial asthma and autoimmune diseases of the thyroid gland.
Most often, the first signs of multiple sclerosis occur in people aged 20 to 30 years. It can also be first diagnosed in older people and children, but it happens much less frequently. The patient may experience weakness in the arms and / or legs, worse to see, coordination may be disturbed.
The main threat of the disease is that without treatment, multiple sclerosis will progress and greatly interfere in everyday life: coordination of movements can be disturbed, the gait can become shaky and unstable, there are difficulties in making subtle movements, such as handwriting, makeup or manicure, needlework, clarity of sight and focusing on objects on one or both eyes decreases, it becomes more difficult to follow the movements. In the future, these violations can become so pronounced that a person can not do without outside help.
If you suspect multiple sclerosis, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible, because the earlier the disease is diagnosed and a specific treatment is chosen, the less severe the symptoms will be.
Course of the disease
The course of the disease is usually wavy: periods of exacerbations, when the patient experiences some kind of disturbance, are replaced by longer periods of remission, when he feels well, is active, and is socially adapted. Usually, exacerbations last up to a month and occur once or twice a year, but in some patients they may be more often. In particular, it can trigger a stress or a viral disease. After each exacerbation, a person may experience some kind of impairment, for example, the vision, the mobility of the arm or leg may not fully recover.
The disease is chronic, that is, it can not be completely cured, but modern drugs and the correct scheme of their purpose can keep multiple sclerosis in the inactive phase. That is, the task of treatment is to increase the periods of remission as much as possible, reduce the frequency of exacerbations, and, if possible, stop them completely. With proper therapy, patients with this disease do not experience severe negative manifestations throughout their lives, and exacerbations may be absent for several years.
Women with multiple sclerosis may have children – during pregnancy, as a rule, the disease does not manifest itself, and the expectant mother only needs more careful observation. The main problems of the young mother can occur immediately after the birth, so experts recommend limiting the period of breastfeeding to two to three months and immediately resume treatment.