While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) yet, hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are living with it – approximately 400,000 people to be exact, and of that, 86 percent list fatigue as the number one symptom of their disease. The cause of MS is unknown; it is not contagious or shown to be directly inherited, but factors that may play a role include:
- Gender – Women are affected more than twice as often as men
- Age – Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50
- Geography – Most people with MS live in temperate climates
- Ethnic background – Caucasians are at a higher risk
It is believed that MS symptoms result when an immune system attack affects myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. For individuals with MS, myelin is destroyed and replaced by scars of hardened “sclerotic” tissue. Some underlying nerve fibers are permanently severed, and the damage appears in multiple places within the central nervous system—giving the disease its name.
While no cure for MS has been found yet, several FDA-approved drugs are available for the long-term treatment of MS. These drugs have been shown to reduce the number and severity of MS flare-ups, and possibly delay disease progression. In addition, many therapeutic and technological advances are helping people manage symptoms.
If you live in the Central New Hampshire and Lakes Region (including Laconia, Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Gilford, Center and Sandwich), contact Live Free Home Health Care to find out how our in-home caregivers can make a person with MS feel enabled, motivated and connected to others. Feel free to call us anytime at 603-217-0149, or review our in-home and respite care services online.
Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society