Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the nervous system that affects over 200, 000 people in Germany and can be very different. Despite intensive research, the exact mechanism of MS is still unclear. All information on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and course of the disease is discussed in the following article.

Overview of the MS disease

How long multiple sclerosis (MS) - a chronic inflammatory disease of the nervous system - already exists, is unknown. The presumably first fitting description of the symptoms of MS dates from 1395; The German poet Heinrich Heine also suffered from complaints that could be attributed to MS.

Often, multiple sclerosis, also known as encephalomyelitis disseminata (ED), is equated with rapid disability and disability in wheelchairs. Fortunately, multiple sclerosis is often less dramatic. The course is very different. Thus, initially only a few MS symptoms can occur, which hardly worsen, the disease can continuously progress or worsen again and again in the form of single episodes of disease.

Is MS curable?

Not knowing what to do after being diagnosed is a major psychological burden for many people with MS.

The spread of MS increases with the distance from the equator, so the disease occurs especially in temperate climates. Worldwide, around 2.5 million people are affected. Women are about twice as likely as men; the first signs usually show up between the 20th and 40th year of life. The exact cause of MS is unknown. The treatment of multiple sclerosis is currently only symptomatic and can prevent disease relapses.

A recent study gives hope that MS could become curable: Canadian researchers using a combination of intensive chemotherapy and the use of stem cells managed to stop multiple sclerosis in 24 patients. However, this form of therapy is risky and only suitable for a small proportion of patients. In addition, further research is needed before the method can actually be made accessible to MS patients.

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