An autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, specifically the spinal cord and the brain, multiple sclerosis inflict insurmountable amount of suffering and pain to patients. Patients usually experience demyelination, a condition wherein there is damage to the myelin sheath of neurons. Aside from knowing its symptoms, risk factors and treatments, it is also good to know things about the history of this disease including who discovered multiple sclerosis.
The Discovery of Multiple Sclerosis
Who discovered multiple sclerosis? French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot was the very first one to describe this medical condition some time in 1868. Because of his numerous contributions to the world of science, he was considered the founder of modern neurology. Aside from neurology, he also contributed a lot to the field of psychology.
Additional Facts and Other Important Details
The U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis Society defined four subtypes of multiple sclerosis in 1996, namely progressive relapsing, primary progressive, secondary progressive and relapsing remitting. The signs of progressive relapsing patients are superimposed attacks and steady neurologic decline. Meanwhile, patients who belong to the primary progressive subtype experience progression of disability with minor occasional or no improvements and remissions.
Secondary progressive is characterized by progressive neurologic decline with minor remissions and occasional relapses. On the other hand, relapsing-remitting patients are individuals who experience unpredictable relapses, which are then followed by the absence of new signs of the disease. In some situations, patients manifest non-standard behaviors. These cases are called borderline forms of multiple sclerosis, which include Marburg multiple sclerosis, Schilder’s diffuse sclerosis and Balo concentric sclerosis.
Patients of multiple sclerosis exhibit clear signs and symptoms, which makes it easier to identify the level or degree of the disease. These include unstable mood, depression and cognitive impairment. Likewise, patients easily experience fatigue. The disease also affects the visual capacity of patients as it leads to diplopia, optic neuritis and nystagmus. Furthermore, it also affects the throat through dysphagia as well as the speech of patients through dysarthria.
In terms of the musculoskeletal system of patients, they usually suffer from ataxia, spasms and weakness. In terms of sensation, they can experience paraesthesia, hypoesthesia and pain. It is also very much possible for them to have constipation, diarrhea or incontinence. Doctors and medical experts use the Expanded Disability Status Scale to measure the severity of symptoms as well as the progress of the disability.
In terms of treatment, a number of therapies are available to help manage the different signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Intravenous corticosteroids like methylprednisolone are used to control symptomatic attacks. In addition, there are also many different disease-modifying treatments available such as mitoxantrone, glatiramer acetate and natalizumab.