Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease affecting nerves in the brain and spinal cord. It causes problems with muscle movement, balance and vision. Each nerve fibre in the brain and spinal cord is surrounded by a layer of myelin. This protects the nerve and helps electrical signals travel fast and effectively. In MS, the myelin becomes damaged, MS is a demyelinating inflammatory disorder.
A clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) is an episode of inflammation in the brain or spinal cord which has not clearly been caused by a new problem. The commonest cause of a clinically isolated syndrome is a demyelinating process. The commonest cause of demyelination is multiple sclerosis (MS). However, having a single “attack” or CIS does not mean that you have MS so it is important to keep details and seek advice.
More information about CIS and the links to Multiple Sclerosis can be found here.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Around 8 out of 10 people with MS will have the relapsing-remitting type of Multiple Sclerosis. Someone with this type of MS will have periods of time where symptoms are mild or disappear altogether. This is known as remission and can last for days, weeks or sometimes months.
Remission may be followed by a sudden flare-up of symptoms, known as a relapse. Relapses can last from a few weeks to a few months. Often, after around 10 years, around half of people with relapsing-remitting MS will go on to develop secondary progressive MS.
In secondary progressive MS, symptoms gradually worsen and there are fewer or no periods of remission.
The least common form of MS is primary progressive MS. In this type, symptoms gradually get worse over time and there are no periods of remission.
Treatment for MS
There is currently no cure for MS but there are a number of treatments that can help. This may include disease-modifying drugs. There is also a wide range of treatments, including steroid injections and physiotherapy. These can help relieve symptoms and make day-to-day living easier.
The MS Society provides a wealth of information on its website which will answer many of your questions. You can access this website so you can start to understand the condition in more detail.
Contact Dr Paviour
Dr Paviour is a Consultant Neurologist in Central and South West London. He has a specialist interest in Parkinson’s disease and other Movement Disorders. He is the clinical lead for Movement Disorders at the Atkinson Morley Regional Neurosciences Centre so is an expert in his field.
Patients are welcome to his clinics to discuss symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Simply phone 020 7042 1850 or send a message via our contact us page.