Multiple sclerosis is the most widespread neurological condition disabling young adults worldwide. It’s a very unpredictable disease, which is why diagnosis and treatment can be so difficult. Dr. Jontel Pierce at MIND Headache and Neurology has years of experience diagnosing and managing neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis. She understands the unique needs of neurology patients and provides comprehensive, compassionate care in the Sugarland, TX office. If you or someone you love may have multiple sclerosis, call or request an appointment online.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects your central nervous system — your brain and spinal cord. The disease damages the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells, making it difficult for your brain to send signals to the rest of your body.
Most people experience their first symptoms of multiple sclerosis between the ages of 20 and 40. The first symptoms are often related to vision — either blurred or double vision, color distortion, or blindness in one eye.
As the disease progresses, some common symptoms include:
Most people with the disease have relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which means that they cycle between periods of new symptoms followed by remission periods during which their symptoms are mild or absent.
No one exactly knows what causes multiple sclerosis. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system attacks the healthy cells in your body by mistake. But it’s not clear what causes the immune system to do this.
Multiple sclerosis affects women two to three times more often than men. Having a parent or sibling who has it increases your risk slightly, and scientists have identified some genes that seem to increase susceptibility to developing multiple sclerosis. Researchers also think there might be an environmental trigger, such as a virus or toxin, that causes the immune system to attack.
Because it’s so unpredictable, it’s difficult to know how multiple sclerosis progresses in any given person. However, in general, the disease progresses faster in men than in women, in those who receive a diagnosis after age 40, and in those who have a high relapse rate.
A patient’s quality of life depends on their symptoms and how well they respond to treatment. Most people with multiple sclerosis don’t become severely disabled and continue to lead full lives. Multiple sclerosis is rarely fatal, and most people have a lifespan that’s close to normal.
While there's no cure for multiple sclerosis, treatments can help speed up recovery from attacks, change the course of the disease, and manage symptoms.
Treatments might include:
If you need help with multiple sclerosis symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment, Dr. Pierce and the staff at MIND Headache and Neurology can help. Book a consultation online or call (281) 402-9522 today.