Although there is presently no cure for MS, that hasn’t stopped people like Adam Rosenfeld Miami from raising awareness and funds for research so that one day we will only have to talk about one type of treatment: the one that permanently eradicates any sign of this disease from your body.
Until that time, we have have no recourse but to treat its symptoms as they crop up. Below, we will discuss the best treatment options for those diagnosed with this disorder.
1) Managing the effects of MS attacks
One of the worst aspects of multiple sclerosis is the on and off nature of the illness. For weeks and months at a time, you’ll be completely fine, allowing you to enjoy your life like those that are not affected by MS.
Suddenly, you’ll be blindsided by a series of debilitating symptoms such as loss of balance, pain, dizziness, vision loss and other deficiencies that will make it impossible for you to live normally.
In order to help you function during these periods, you will be prescribed corticosteroids, which reduce nerve inflammation. While this will bring relief, these drugs come with side effects of their own, which includes insomnia and mood swings.
If your flare ups are particularly bad, you may need to get a plasma exchange. This will enable doctors to add some albumin that may help calm these symptoms more effectively than steroids can.
2) Treatments that modify the progress of MS
Frustratingly, a treatment has yet to be developed that will slow the development of MS. The best that researchers have come up are methods that modify how multiple sclerosis progresses.
If doctors diagnose your MS early, they can aggressively medicate you so that your body forms damaging lesions at a slower rate. From beta interferons to Lemtrada, these drugs act to reduce the number of relapse episodes and their severity.
3) Treating signs and symptoms of MS
The above treatments focus on the mechanisms of the disease, but you’ll still be left to deal with the aftereffects of attacks. Booking sessions with a physical therapist will likely be advised, as they will lead you through a program of exercises designed to help strengthen your body.
This will help you get through life more effectively than patients that sit at home in despair; in their case, their bodies will deteriorate at a more rapid pace, causing a dramatic reduction in their quality of life over a relatively short period of time.
As far as annoying symptoms go, muscle cramps will be the one that will give you the most grief. As such, your doctor will prescribe a muscle relaxant such as Zanaflex to help relieve the pain and mobility issues that this condition will cause you.
Additionally, you will experience reductions in energy during your flare ups, so you will be prescribed medicine that will boost your alertness.
4) Stem cells
This last one is controversial, as it is on the bleeding edge of science at the moment. A recent study was published where the immune system of 25 MS patients were nuked through chemotherapy, which were then subsequently re-built using stem cell therapy.
Two patients died as a result of this study, but the other 23 appeared to have recovered fully. To be clear, it is still too early to know if they have been cured, but even if they have, the uncertain death rate has put the brakes on a quick roll out of this treatment protocol.
The small sample size has made it hard to determine whether the number of fatalities were above or below the normal rate. Had a larger sample been taken, the answer to this question would have been clear, but it will take additional years of study to sort out this issue out.