MS, disseminated encephalomyelitis, disseminated sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, polysclerosis
Multiple sclerosis falls under the diseases of the immune system, more precisely it is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. It is a reaction to the body’s own nervous tissue, which is usually mediated by a certain type of inflammatory cells in the blood, the T lymphocytes. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the human nervous system. The nerves of the human body lose their insulating layer. As a result, the speed with which information is transported is considerably reduced.
In Germany, about 1 in 400 inhabitants are affected. It is assumed that more than 200,000 people are affected in Germany today. The disease most frequently occurs in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
The ratio of women to men is 2:1. MS (Mutiple Sclerosis) is a disease of the Caucasian population. In Europe, there are a comparatively large number of people with this disease, whereas there is almost no one with it near the equator.
Surprisingly, if you want to live in the tropics, you have to start at the age of 15 years to be aware of the probability of developing MS (Mutiple Sclerosis). Before the age of 15, one adapts to the probability of contracting the disease in the respective region. If you emigrate to a tropical country before your 15th birthday, the probability of developing MS (multiple sclerosis) is negligible.
Signs of MS
The symptoms that appear first vary from patient to patient. The most common are sensory disturbances in the arms or legs. These occur suddenly and are usually the only limitations of the patient.
Also visual disturbances, due to inflammation of the optic nerve, are often the first symptom. Here, a loss of vision in the center of the field of vision can be noticed, a clouded vision or the seeing of double images. Another early symptom can be the appearance of disturbances in muscle function.
These can include paralysis, weakness and coordination disorders. In addition, general fatigue and concentration disorders may also occur at the beginning of the disease. Which of these symptoms occurs at the beginning depends on the first affected area in the central nervous system.
For example, if multiple sclerosis begins with inflammation or the breakdown of the isolating myelin sheaths surrounding the optic nerve, the patient will first notice visual disturbances. If other parts of the brain are affected, the disease initially manifests itself through other symptoms. The age of the patients in whom the early symptoms appear is between 15 and 40 years.
In this stage of the disease, the symptoms usually appear in phases. At the beginning, the deficits usually disappear completely, whereas in the further course of multiple sclerosis, permanent neurological damage must be expected. However, all these initial signs are not necessarily associated with the onset of multiple sclerosis.
There are many other clinical pictures that can lead to these symptoms. These other diseases must first be ruled out before a diagnosis of MS can be made. In order to be able to evaluate these signs that indicate the disease, there is the so-called Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Here, the patient’s limitations in various areas are evaluated and the severity of the current impairments can be determined.