And Its Psychological Effects
Dr. Emily Splane
April 10, 2014
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that has detrimental effects on patients’ lives, both physically and psychologically. Causes of MS appear to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, with interesting trends in prevalence in relation to geographic region. Symptoms of MS are widespread, impacting multiple facets of functioning on several dimensions. Treatments are primarily medications intended to alleviate or decrease symptoms, usually expensive and sometimes ineffective. Psychological issues are often related to depression and anxiety, with an exacerbating effect of stress on the disease. Suicide is much more prevalent in MS than in the general population, making mental health a primary concern for MS patients.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by the demyelination of axons in the central nervous system (CNS) (Kira, 2007; Simon & Zieve, 2012, Stadelmann, 2011). T cells, a type of white blood cell, essentially attack the myelination of the axons, as a result of over activity and defect of functioning (Simon & Zieve, 2012; Viglietta et al, 2004). MS commonly consists of remission and relapse periods of symptoms, which is a result of remyelination of axons causing a temporary remission, followed by further demyelination of axons, creating a relapse and sometimes worsening of symptoms (Stankowski, Zwoliński, & Witkiewicz, 2012). The remission/relapse patterns categorize the four types of MS: Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS), Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS), Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS), and Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS) (Simon & Zieve, 2012).
Symptoms of MS include disruptions in vision, tingling and numbness, muscle weakness/spasms, issues with balance...