Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (cont.)
Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN
Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) facts
- What is the definition of multiple sclerosis (MS)?
- What is multiple sclerosis (MS)?
- What causes multiple sclerosis?
- What are the risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis?
- What are MS symptoms and signs?
- What are the different types of MS?
- How do doctors diagnose multiple sclerosis?
- What are multiple sclerosis treatment options?
- MS medications
- What is the treatment for MS symptoms?
- What is the prognosis and life expectancy for multiple sclerosis?
- Is it possible to prevent multiple sclerosis?
- What research is being done on MS?
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) FAQs
- Find a local Neurologist in your town
What is the treatment for MS symptoms?
In addition to treating MS itself, there are approved medications that can treat many multiple sclerosis symptoms including:
- memory loss,
- urinary frequency,
- erectile dysfunction (ED or impotence), and
It is important for patients to have an ongoing dialogue with their physician to describe any residual difficulty or symptoms following an exacerbation so that these symptoms can be addressed and treated.
Experimental therapies being explored to treat or possibly cure MS include stem cell transplantation. Preliminary results from one study which followed patients for 5 years suggested a decreased relapse rate and improvement in disability. While promising, these results need to be evaluated carefully before this treatment is approved.
In 2009 a vascular surgeon proposed that MS was caused by venous abnormalities that responsible for the true cause of MS was venous insufficiency. This proposed theory was termed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). A number of studies have tried to confirm this theory since it would markedly change the approach to treating MS. However, most of the recent data has not shown a causal relationship between any venous insufficiency and MS. Currently, there are still some ongoing studies that will be finished in approximately 2 years but some experts suggest the recent findings in the ongoing findings will disprove this hypothesis.
What is the prognosis and life expectancy for multiple sclerosis?
Patients with MS are felt to have the same life expectancy of those without MS. However, for patients with severe, progressive forms of this disease, problems caused by disability may lead to complications such as pneumonia.
If patients are not treated, over 30% may develop pronounced problems with mobility. It is not yet known what the long-term outcome of patients who begin treatment at an early stage of their disease will be.
There are two extremes in MS. The first is a "benign" syndrome in which patients have numerous lesions identified on MRI imaging, but have few -- if any -- symptoms, even decades after their diagnosis. At the opposite end of the spectrum is a condition identified as the Marburg variant of multiple sclerosis, where rapidly progressive symptoms are seen and death may occur after a very short time.
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