Symptoms, course of the disease, treatment of MS

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Symptoms, course of the disease, treatment of MS

As of May 22, 2023 5:36 PM

Multiple sclerosis – an inflammatory neurological disease that also affects many celebrities. Christina Applegate, Malou Dreyer, and pop singer Howard Karpendale have announced their illness publicly to make others aware of it. What type of disease is MS, how does it develop — and how can it be treated?

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis – also known as multiple sclerosis – is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that is persistent and therefore chronic. As a result, the central nervous system is only able to a limited extent (or not at all) to transmit information in the body. The result can be sensory and motor disturbances.

In Germany alone, about 250,000 people currently suffer from MS, about 75 percent of them are women. The disease usually begins in people between the ages of 20 and 40.


Multiple sclerosis is a long-term inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. As a result, information in the body cannot be transmitted or can only be transmitted to a limited extent.
Image credit: Colourbox.de

Causes of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. In other words, the body’s immune system is misguided. Defensive cells, which are normally supposed to protect the body from invaders such as pathogens, attack the neural pathways of the central nervous system in MS patients. This leads to inflammation of the nerves.

The reasons for this wrong reaction are not yet clear. A combination of predisposition, environmental factors, and possibly infection is also suspected. Judith Haas of the German MS Society:

MS is an autoimmune disease, similar to rheumatism and psoriasis. (…) It is not known why these diseases appear. In the case of MS, it is discussed that it may be a viral infection that triggers an incorrect immune response. (…]There is also a certain susceptibility to multiple sclerosis. The disease runs in families, but it is not a hereditary disease.

Judith Haas, President of the German MS Society | sensitive

What are the symptoms of MS?

Multiple sclerosis appears differently in each affected person. Depending on where the inflammation occurs in the brain and spinal cord, different symptoms appear.

The severity of symptoms and the course of the disease are affected by how severe the inflammation is and how often it flares up. This is why MS is often referred to as “the disease of a thousand faces.” Not all signs of illness are visible to outsiders.

The most common symptoms of MS include:

  • Movement disorders, muscle weakness, paralysis
  • Numbness, tingling, and sensory disturbances
  • visual disturbances
  • dizziness, tremors;
  • Speech and swallowing disorders
  • Concentration problems, forgetfulness and fatigue
  • Bladder disorders and impotence

How does the disease develop?

Multiple sclerosis is typical for the disease to occur in so-called eruptions. One speaks of a flare-up when individual symptoms of the disease worsen, new symptoms appear or nerve damage becomes previously undetectable.

The seizure continues for at least 24 hours. Symptoms usually disappear within hours or days during an attack. But here, too, the following applies: Like the symptoms, the course of the disease can also be very different.


The extent to which the disease affects those affected varies from case to case.
Image credit: IMAGO / photothek

Consequence or side effect? Multiple sclerosis and depression

Depression is a common side effect of multiple sclerosis. About half of those infected will develop it in their lifetime. It is not yet clear whether depression is a consequence of the disease or part of it.

How is multiple sclerosis treated?

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are as varied as the treatment of the disease. Therefore, treatment is always tailored individually.

Various applications such as physiotherapy, medication or other supportive measures are combined with each other. The primary goal is to identify disease activity and its long-term containment.

In recent years, great strides have been made in developing the actual cessation of multiple sclerosis, stopping disease flare-ups, as well as stopping disease progression. These are really great advances in treatment, and they are also very important for patients’ life planning.

Judith Haas, President of the German MS Society | sensitive

It is important to detect multiple sclerosis as early as possible. This increases the chance of a positive course of the disease. Because the disease is still incurable.

about this subject

This topic in the program:first | Bryson | May 22, 2022 | At 17:00

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