Multiple sclerosis can appear at any age, but most patients are first diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, often after noticing symptoms like blurry vision, painful eye movement, or sensory problems, such as tingling. Nnamdi Dike, DO, at Affinity Neurocare offers comprehensive treatment for multiple sclerosis, providing ongoing medical support to help stop the disease from progressing. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Frisco, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects nerves in your brain and spinal cord. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, which is a protective fatty tissue that covers nerves.
Your nerves need the myelin sheath to transmit electrical signals. When the myelin sheath is damaged, nerve communication is disrupted between your brain and the rest of your body. Over time, the nerve damage caused by multiple sclerosis becomes permanent.
There are several different types of MS, but about 80% of patients are initially diagnosed with a form called relapsing-remitting MS. In this type of MS, patients go through periods when they experience symptoms, followed by periods when they go into remission.
About 60-70% of patients with relapsing-remitting MS eventually develop secondary progressive MS. In this form, you no longer have periods of remission and your symptoms continue to worsen.
At their initial diagnosis, 10-20% of patients are diagnosed with a type called primary progressive MS. With this form, symptoms worsen over time and you don’t have periods of remission.
The specific symptoms you develop depend on the nerves affected by MS. However, the earliest symptoms for most patients begin in their eyes, with problems such as:
You’ll also develop symptoms such as:
You may also experience an unsteady gait, slurred speech, or problems with sexual function.
After performing a comprehensive neurological exam, Dr. Dike may order a variety of tests to rule out other possible conditions. For example, he may want to see the results of a brain MRI or evoked potential tests that show how well electrical signals travel through your nerves.
Your treatment focuses on helping you recover from acute attacks, slowing disease progression, and managing your MS symptoms. Dr. Dike may prescribe one of many possible medications, depending on the type of MS and the severity of your symptoms.
You may also benefit from physical therapy to manage leg weakness and gait problems. Occupational therapy can help you learn to perform daily tasks that are more challenging due to MS symptoms.
To receive comprehensive care for MS, call Affinity Neurocare or book an appointment online.