My aunt has had Multiple Sclerosis for about 11 years now. She started showing symptoms when she was 27. I remember the day that I walked into my parents room to find my mom on the phone crying. I stayed to listen to the conversation and when she was off the phone she told me what was going on. All I could do at that point was remember all of the times we went on bike rides and had a lot of fun. It was a really bad feeling knowing that we would never have the chance to do any of that again. It was really hard for my uncle to handle and I am sure it still is, but when ever I go over theyre house everyone is cheerful and easy to talk to. Whenever I get the chance I talk to my aunt and she is still very intelligent and fun to hold a conversation with. So if you ever see a person with a disease, do not be afraid to talk to them for they are very wise.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that randomly attacks the central nervous system. Specific symptoms of the disease can not be predicted. The symptoms may range from tingling and numbness to paralysis and blindness. MS is a devastating disease because people live with its unpredictable physical and emotional effects for the rest of their lives. My aunt has to be feed, bathed; she cannot do anything for herself. MS is a well-known disease, but poorly understood. In the United States there are about 200 new cases diagnosed each week. MS is a common disease and not always caused by genetics. Therefore, I feel we all need to have a better understanding of this disease that has no cure yet. My aunt has been in my prayers and many other peoples for a long time. I just want to see her get rid of the nasty disease. I hope to make MS more understanding in my paper. In my paper I will explain what MS is, who gets MS, what MS has to do with the metabolism, what some of the symptoms of MS are, and some treatments for MS.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disabling illness that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Under normal conditions these nerve cells are surrounded by an insulating sheath made of fatty myelin, which speeds the passage of nerve impulses.The disruption of nerve signals in the brain and spinal cord causes a variety of symptoms that affect vision, sensation, and body movements. My aunt has uncontrollable shaking whenever she tries to move. MS is a life-long chronic disease that starts in young adults who have a normal life expectancy. The economic, social, and medical costs associated with the disease are significant. Estimates place the annual costs of MS in the United States in excess of $2.5 billion. No one knows exactly how many people have MS. It is believed that there are approximately 250,000 to 350,000 people in the United States with MS. In addition, MS is the most common nerve disease to develop in young kids after birth, and about 1 million young adults have it around the world. Close relatives of a person with MS are 8 times more likely than average to develop the disease themselves, and children of a person with MS run 30 to 50 times the average risk. I should put my cousin in my prayers. Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40.
Although scientists have documented cases of MS in young children and elderly adults, symptoms rarely begin before age 15 or after age 60. White people are more than twice as likely as other races to develop MS. In general, women are affected at almost twice the rate of men. To understand what is happening when a person has MS, you need to know a little about how the healthy immune system works.
In autoimmune diseases such as MS, the dtente between the immune system and the body is disrupted when the immune system seems to wrongly identify self cells as nonself and declares war on the part of the body it no longer recognizes. Through intensive research efforts, scientists are unraveling the complex secrets of the malfunctioning immune system of patients with MS. Investigators are also looking for abnormalities or malfunctions in the blood/brain barrier, a protective membrane that controls the passage of substances from the blood into the central nervous system. It is possible that components of the immune system get through the barrier and cause nervous system damage, in MS. Viral infections are usually accompanied by inflammation and the production of gamma interferon, a naturally occurring body chemical that has been shown to worsen the clinical course of MS. It is possible that the immune response to viral infections may themselves precipitate an MS attack. My uncle had a viral infection and I think that that is how it started in my aunt.
The genes a person inherits may help determine whether that person is at increased risk for developing MS. While there is evidence from studies that this genetic component exists, it appears to be only one factor among several. Most likely an individuals genetic blueprint determines if that individual will be susceptible to a triggering factor, which in turn initiates the autoimmune process that leads to the development of MS. In the past few years, scientists have found out how to pinpoint the genetic factors that give a person a chance to get MS. These tools are the methods of molecular geneticstechniques used to isolate and determine the chemical structure of genes.
Many physicians believe that the earlier MS is diagnosed and treatment begun, the better the outcome will be. Symptoms of MS may be small or severe, of a long time or short, and may appear in various combinations. Complete or partial remission of symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease, occurs in approximately 70 percent of MS patients. The initial symptom of MS is often blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. Visual problems tend to clear up in the later stages of MS. Fifty-five percent of MS patients will have an attack of optic neuritis at some time or other and it will be the first symptom of MS in approximately 15 percent. This has led to general recognition of optic neuritis as an early sign of MS, especially if tests also reveal abnormalities in the patient’s spinal fluid. My aunts first symptom was real bad blurred vision. Most MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with moving and balance at some time during the course of the disease. Speech impediments, tremors, and dizziness are other frequent complaints. Occasionally, people with MS have hearing loss. Approximately half of all people with MS experience cognitive impairments such as difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment, but such symptoms are usually mild and are frequently overlooked.
The harsh symptoms of MS can affect the entire family as patients may become unable to work at the same time they are facing high medical bills and additional expenses for housekeeping assistance and modifications to homes and vehicles. My uncle has moved to three different houses due to my aunts condition. He finally moved next to my grandpa so he can help in the field and always be close to home. My cousin does home schooling because it would be too hard to find a ride for her as it is. My aunt with MS used to be a teacher and is still very smart so she teaches my cousin. The emotional drain on both patient and family is immeasurable. They have worked it out now so they are house is full of high spirits.
Until recently, the principal medications physicians used to treat MS were steroids possessing anti-inflammatory properties. While steroids do not affect the course of MS over time, they can reduce the duration and severity of attacks in some patients. One of the most promising MS research areas involves naturally occurring antiviral proteins known as interferons. Two forms of beta interferon (Avonex and Betaseron) have now been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of MS. A third is marketed in Europe. Beta interferon has been shown to reduce the number of exacerbations and may slow the progression of physical disability. When attacks do occur, they tend to be shorter and less severe. In addition, MRI scans suggest that beta interferon can decrease myelin destruction. Right now, my aunt is taking Volume and Baclofen as muscle relaxers, Norco for pain and Vatascron which is specifically for MS. She used to get the bee sting treatment but that blew over and now she smokes medical marijuana on a daily basis. Also for relaxation she gets massages by my other aunt who is a masseuse. She says that getting massages helps her movement a little. I suppose it gets her blood flowing.
In conclusion, MS is a disease that is well known but poorly understood by the medical and nursing community as well as the public. It has no known cure and the genes that are accountable for it have not been pin pointed. The United States is capable of finding a cure for this disease. Over the years, medical researchers have found cures for many diseases that were thought incurable. Not only time and money are needed to find a cure for this disease, but faith and heart are needed to realize the importance of finding the cure.