MS Monday: Week of 6/25

We hope you are enjoying our MS Monday series! If there’s anything you’d like us to feature, please tell us in the comments. After all, we want this to be a valuable and helpful resource for you.

Today, we are all about education! Multiple Sclerosis got some attention from Hollywood this week after Jack Osbourne (son of Ozzy Osbourne) announced he had the disease. In an interview on his mom’s TV show, the Talk, he said the diagnosis came after he lost vision in one eye. He also explained that he had symptoms for several years including bladder issues and numbness in his legs but didn’t attribute them to MS.

A problem with Multiple Sclerosis is that the symptoms are so varied and can also be symptoms of other illnesses or injuries. In Jack’s case, he thought the numbness was from a pinched nerve. While we briefly mentioned some common symptoms in last week’s MS Monday, here is a much more comprehensive list of common and less common symptoms.

Common Symptoms

MS affects each person differently.

MS affects each person differently.

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness
  • Walking (Gait), Balance, & Coordination Problems
  • Bladder Dysfunction
  • Bowel Dysfunction
  • Vision Problems
  • Dizziness and Vertigo
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Pain
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Emotional Changes
  • Depression
  • Spasticity

Less Common Symptoms

  • Speech Disorders
  • Swallowing Problems
  • Headache
  • Hearing Loss
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Respiration / Breathing Problems
  • Itching

(Source: National MS Society)

In addition to having a broad spectrum of symptoms, MS also affects people differently based on their diagnosis. There are four types of Multiple Sclerosis: Relapsing-Remitting, Secondary-Progressive, Primary-Progressive and Progressive-Relapsing.

  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). RRMS is characterized by relapse (attacks of symptom flare-ups) followed by remission (periods of recovery). Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, and relapses and remissions may last for days or months. More than 80 percent of people who have MS begin with relapsing-remitting cycles.
  • Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS). SPMS often develops in people who have relapsing-remitting MS. In SPMS, relapses and partial recoveries occur, but the disability doesn’t fade away between cycles. Instead, it progressively worsens until a steady progression of disability replaces the cycles of attacks.
  • Primary-progressive MS (PPMS). PPMS progresses slowly and steadily from its onset. There are no periods of remission and symptoms generally do not decrease in intensity. About 15 percent of people who have MS have PPMS.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS). In this relatively rare type of MS, people experience both steadily worsening symptoms and attacks during periods of remission.

(Source: Mayo Clinic)

The cause of MS is not known yet but we do know that it is an autoimmune disease where “the body’s own defense system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The nerve fibers themselves can also be damaged. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur.” (National MS Society).


News this week:

Local volunteers improve the lives of those with multiple sclerosis through workday (The Saratogian)
“On a recent sunny Saturday in Gansevoort, a group of volunteers gathered, prepared for a day of hard work to improve the homes of people living with multiple sclerosis.”

Golfer triumphs over courses, avoids hazards of MS (Journal Sentinel)
“Champion golfer Rheba Mabie competes at a high level despite having multiple sclerosis.”

Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman raises MS awareness (ESPN)
“Last Thursday provided a rare home off-day for the first-place Washington Nationals. But Ryan Zimmerman, the team’s All-Star third baseman, still spent his night at the ballpark. Zimmerman had important business at his third annual “Night at the Park” fund-raiser at Nationals Park to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis — the chronic disease which has crippled his mother, Cheryl, since her diagnosis in 1995.”

Multiple sclerosis patients have lower risk of cancer: research (MedicalXpress)
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients appear to have a lower cancer risk, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health.”


MS Monday Motivational Moments:

If you like any of these motivational quotes, share them on your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest page!


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