Multiple sclerosis (MS) | Cannabis Wiki

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (usually referred to as MS) is a chronic, degenerative inflammatory disease of the central nervous system attacking the myelin sheath in the spinal cord and brain, leaving it hardened or scarred. It primarily affects young and middle-aged adults. The illness causes damage to the myelin sheaths which surround and insulate the nerve cells in the brain and spinal column. The patches of inflammation are called lesions or plaques, and they affect the function of the nerves involved. This means that symptoms are variable. Depending on which part or parts of the central nervous system (CNS) are affected.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Typical symptoms that might be displayed are as follows.

White Matter of the Brain:

  • Memory and concentration difficulty
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Confusion

Optic Nerve:

Retrobulbar (optic) neuritis-inflammation of the optic nerve resulting in blurred vision and pain when moving the eyeball, sometimes loss of vision in one eye results.

Brain Stem:

  • Lack of hand coordination
  • Facial weakness
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Dysarthria (slurred speech)
  • Double vision
  • Nystagmus (rapid involuntary eye movements)
  • Unsteady gait

Spinal Cord:

  • Weakness
  • Heaviness in the limbs.
  • Loss of sphincter control (incontinence of urine or feces).
  • Urinary problems, such as increased frequency of urination and or bladder irritation.
  • Paraesthesiae (pins and needles) in limbs, face and trunk of body.
  • Paroxysmal Symptoms:
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, brief spasms of searing pain in the trigeminal nerve of the face.
  • ‘Useless hands’-loss of joint and position sense.
  • Lhermitte’s sign-‘electric shock’ sensation down the trunk of the body or arms on flexing the neck.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

There are four main types of Multiple Sclerosis:

Benign Multiple Sclerosis (around 20 percent of cases)

Benign Multiple Sclerosis starts with a number of mild attacks followed by a complete recovery, with not worsening over time, and no permanent disability.

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (25 percent of cases)

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis involves attacks which can last from hours to months, during which symptoms may recur or new ones appear, followed by periods of recovery of any length of time, even some lasting as long as years.

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (about 40 percent develop this form)

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis starts in the same way as Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, but remissions stop and the Multiple Sclerosis moves into the progressive stage.

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (15 percent of cases)

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis also known as chronic progressive, involves steadily worsening symptoms, and progressive disability. There is no clear cycle of attack and remission. The illness may continue to worsen, or may stabilize at any time.

Causes

So far, no definite cause for Multiple Sclerosis has been identified, but there is a large amount of research taking place. It has been suggested that an immunological response to an outside infection is a factor behind Multiple Sclerosis.

Some researcher believe that Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder, where tissue is destroyed by the body’s own immune system. In either case, certain cells of the immune system are associated with the Multiple Sclerosis lesions.

Prevention

Unfortunately, there is as yet, no known means of preventing Multiple Sclerosis.

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