The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, observed World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day on 30th May 2023, joining the global MS community in raising awareness and fostering connections. With the theme of ‘connections’ for the 2020-2023 period.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis, abbreviated as MS, is a neurological autoimmune disease that primarily affects the brain, optic nerves, and the spinal cord, causing many discomforting symptoms. Although the indications of MS vary from one person to another, some of the characteristic ones include problems with balance, vision, speech, and muscle control, causing numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, electric shock-like sensations in the neck, problems with speech or slurred speech, tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait, double vision, blurred vision or total loss of vision, fatigue, dizziness, and tingling sensation or pain in some parts of your body.
- Muscle weakness and numbness.
- Bladder problems, such as difficulty emptying the bladder or frequent and sudden urination.
- Bowel problems.
- Damaged nerve fibers in the spinal cord.
- MS can be challenging to diagnose as symptoms are often nonspecific, leading to delayed diagnosis.
- Diagnostic tests include neurological examination, medical history assessment, MRI scans, and other tests to rule out alternative conditions.
The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors.
- Genetic factors: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing MS.
- Environmental factors: Smoking and stress have been associated with an increased risk.
- Vitamin D and B12 deficiency have also been suggested as potential factors.
- There is no known cure for MS, but various treatment options are available to manage symptoms, slow disease progression, and improve quality of life.
- Treatment may involve medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
- It’s important for individuals experiencing symptoms associated with MS to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
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World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day, World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day