March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month! More than 400,000 Americans of almost all ages are affected by Multiple Sclerosis. Everyday, people with this condition are not letting it affect their lives. By sharing their stories, many can better understand a life with it. Our Las Vegas neurologist is working to push awareness throughout this month.
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown but our Las Vegas neurologist best practice is to diagnose it as soon as possible and treat it.
- Pain areas: in the back or eyes
- Pain circumstances: can occur in the back due to head nod or with eye movement
- Tremor: can occur during precise movements, in the hands, or limbs
- Muscular: cramping, difficulty walking, inability to rapidly change motions, involuntary movements, muscle paralysis, muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, clumsiness, muscle spasms, or overactive reflexes
- Whole body: fatigue, dizziness, heat intolerance, poor balance, vertigo, or weakness
- Sensory: pins and needles, abnormality of taste, reduced sensation of touch, or uncomfortable tingling and burning
- Urinary: excessive urination at night, leaking of urine, persistent urge to urinate, or urinary retention
- Visual: blurred vision, double vision, or vision loss
- Sexual: erectile dysfunction or sexual dysfunction
- Mood: anxiety or mood swings
- Speech: slurred speech or impaired voice
- Also common: constipation, depression, difficulty swallowing, difficulty thinking and understanding, flare, headache, heavy legs, numbness of face, rapid involuntary eye movement, sleep deprivation, tongue numbness, or difficulty raising the foot
Diagnosis and Treatment:
There is no specific test for MS, usually after certain symptoms reveal, our Las Vegas neurologist will likely tests such as:
- Blood Tests- to help rule out other disease with symptoms similar to MS.
- Lumbar puncture- small sample of fluid is removed from your spinal cord for laboratory analysis which can show abnormalities in antibodies that are associated with MS.
- MRI- this can reveal areas of MS on your brain and spinal cord. You may receive an intravenous injection of a contrast material to highlight lesions that indicate your disease is in an active phase.
- Evoked potential tests- in other words record the electrical signals produced by your nervous system in response to stimuli. This may use visual stimuli or electrical stimuli, in which you watch a moving visual pattern, or short electrical impulses are applied to nerves in your legs or arms. Electrodes measure how quickly the information travels down your nerve pathways.
There is a great number of people in the US who are not as aware of Multiple Sclerosis and many other diseases altogether. Spreading awareness in big or small ways makes a big difference in the community. How are you spreading awareness?
Tips in Spreading Awareness for MS:
- Follow your Las Vegas neurologist to find out more information on various conditions!
- Wear orange to represent the disease and share with others what the color symbolizes!
- Join a MS support group, our Las Vegas neurologist actively does this.
- Volunteer in many MS events throughout the month for support, fundraisers, and helping others with this condition.