Archive for August 25th, 2010

Archive for August 25th, 2010

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Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating disease that currently has no cure. However, Multiple Sclerosis treatments can help control the symptoms and potentially improve quality of life for those who suffer from the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis treatments focus on battling the autoimmune response and managing symptoms of MS. Treatments include medications, therapies as well as procedures. Common medications used in treating MS include 1) Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are the most commonly used drugs to treat MS. Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation that emerges during relapses. MS causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues. Corticosteroids suppress the body’s immune system which reduces the effects of the immune systems attack. 2) Interferons are used to slow the rate which MS symptoms worsen. The unfortunate side effect to interferons is that interferons may cause serious liver damage. 3) Glatiramer is taken by injection and blocks the immune system’s attack on myelin. Myelin lines nerve fibers to protect and insulate neurons in the body. Side effects of taking Glatiramer include shortness of breath. 4) Natalizumab works by disrupting the movement of damaging immune cells from moving through the bloodstream to the spinal cord and brain. Typically Glatiramer is not the first option to treat MS due to the fact that it contains Tysabri which increases the risk of fatal brain infection. 5) Mitoxantrone is yet another immune suppressant. However, it is typically used in people with advanced MS due to the fact that it may be harmful to the heart.

MS treatments also include therapies like stretching and strengthening as well as in depth procedure such as plasma exchange. A Plasma exchange separates blood cells from plasma. Plasma exchange is popular with individuals who are not responding well to steroid treatments.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is one of the most well known advocates for MS treatment, research and fund raising. The MS society has a host of information available in regard to MS treatments. The MS society list additional modifying agents as treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. The modifying agents include Avonex and Betaseron (to name a couple). These modifying agents may reduce the progression and activity of MS in individuals suffering from relapses. However, the MS society points out the fact that it has not been determined that modifying agents delay the progression of the disease over a long term.

The MS society recommends actions as complimentary to Multiple Sclerosis treatments 1) Adherence: Working with a doctor and adhering to the disease-modifying medication the doctor has recommended. 2) Complementary & Alternative Medicine: These are therapies that are considered to be less conventional. However, considered to be of benefit when combined with the more conventional methods.

The MS society has a wealth of information regarding complementary treatments, multiple effects of alcohol and smoking on individuals with the disease, information on how heat and humidity may affect persons with MS as well as a host of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the disease. For more information regarding Multiple Treatments, or for frequently asked questions see the Texas Low Cost Health Insurance Website and search MS Resources.