Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). MS is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body's immune system is damage by genetic or environmental factors (or both), causing it to attack its own tissues. In the case of MS, these tissues are the myelin covering the nerve fibers in the brain.
During an MS attack, inflammation occurs in areas of the white matter of the central nervous system in random patches called plaques. This process is followed by destruction of myelin, the fatty covering that insulates nerve cell fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin facilitates the smooth, high-speed transmission of electrochemical messages between the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the body; when it is damaged, neurological transmission of messages may be slowed or blocked completely, leading to diminished or lost function.
There are two main types of MS. The relapsing-remitting type is characterized by periods of worsening symptoms followed by periods of remission. The chronic progressive type is characterized by a steadily progressive course with few or no periods of symptom remission.
Treatment modalities include medications, therapy, and sometimes, surgery for specific problems.
The Medifocus Guide on Multiple Sclerosis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing Multiple Sclerosis?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis?
What treatment options are available for the management of Multiple Sclerosis?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in Multiple Sclerosis?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for Multiple Sclerosis?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about Multiple Sclerosis?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
High dose immunosuppression with hemopoietic stem cell support in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ. 2000
Disease-modifying drugs for multiple sclerosis: a rapid and systematic review. Health Technology Assessment (South Hampton, NY). 2000
T cell receptor peptides for the vaccination therapy of multiple sclerosis. Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop. 2000
Neurology. 4: Multiple sclerosis. Medical Journal of Australia. 2000
Trauma does not precipitate multiple sclerosis. Archives of Neurology. 2000
Trauma to the central nervous system may result in formation or enlargement of multiple sclerosis plaques. Archives of Neurology. 2000
Multiple sclerosis: care needs for 2000 and beyond. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2000
A cost evaluation of multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neurovirology. 2000
MRI correlates of cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients. Journal of Neurovirology. 2000
Mood disorders in multiple sclerosis: diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Neurovirology. 2000
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