Although there is no cure for MS, but there are many treatments that can relieve the symptoms and relapses and may slow down the progression of MS.
- Treatment of MS can be split into three categories:
- Treatment of Relapses
- Treatment for Specific MS symptoms and
- Treatment to slow down the progression of MS
1) Treatment of Relapses: A relapse is usually defined as any new symptom, or a deterioration of an existing symptom , which lasts more than 24 hours. The important thing to remember is that an MS relapse is generally followed by some level of recovery, with the symptoms either completely or partially disappearing . If your symptoms are due to a relapse, you may be given a three-five day course of a high dose steroid for faster recovery. It suppresses your immune system so that it no longer attacks the myelin in your central nervous system.
2) Treatment for specific MS symptoms:
- Treatments for specific symptoms may include
- a) Visual Problem: If you face mild visual problems – such as having trouble reading or viewing nearby objects – visit an ophthalmologist for an eye test. Visual disturbances can be helped with medication.
- b) Muscle Problem: Muscle spasm or spasticity can be reduced with muscle relaxants. A combination of medications may ease the problem, including stiffness and tremors. Physiotherapy on advice of your neurologists is also recommended.
- c) Fatigue and Tiredness: Many people with Multiple Sclerosis experience extreme fatigue which can be taken care of using prescribed drugs that may help to alleviate the fatigue. You may also follow an exercise regime and physical energy-saving techniques to prevent fatigue.
- d) Constipation: Constipation can be managed with laxatives, increased fiber content in your daily diet and reasonable fluid intake.
- e) Bladder Problem: There are a range of different treatment options to assist people who experience urinary problems. The problem of overactive and underactive bladder can be managed by different treatments.
- f) Neuropsychological problems – Treatment for depression or anxiety may include counseling and/or medication. Memory problems and other cognitive difficulties can be better managed with professional help from a neuropsychologist.
3) Treatment for Slowing down the progression of MS:
- Some of the disease-modifying drugs treatments include:
- a) Disease Modifying Treatments (DMTs): These medications decrease the rate of relapses, which mean the myelin sheaths, are subjected to less frequent damage. DMTs work by modifying the activity of the immune system. These treatments are most often prescribed for people with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).
- b) Immune Suppressants: Some immune suppressants such as methotrexate or mitoxantrone are used, especially for people with progressive MS.
Currently there is no cure for MS but there are fewer proven Multiple Sclerosis Treatment . However, there are medications that have been shown to “modify” or slow down the underlying course of MS which are approved in various countries across the world including India. In addition, many therapeutic and technological advances are helping people manage symptoms. Advances in treating and understanding MS and progress in research to find a cure is encouraging.