Why They Call Incurable Multiple Sclerosis “The Disease of a Thousand Faces”

Why They Call Incurable Multiple Sclerosis "The Disease of a Thousand Faces"

The word multiple sclerosis induces chills when we hear it

But on many occasions when we say it, we don’t really know what we mean.

He Doctor Miguel Ángel Llaneza, coordinator Study Group of Demyelinating Diseases of the Spanish Neurological Society , explains that there are many sclerosis that cannot affect the body:

This medical term means hardening of any tissue in the body . And therefore there are different types such as:

  • tuberous sclerosis

  • scleroderma

  • cutaneous sclerosis

  • Systemic sclerosis…”

More than 50,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in Spain, and around 2,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Why does disease have a thousand faces?

The multiple sclerosis neurological disease chronic and degenerative, characterized by the immune system abnormally attacking myelin, is a (the layer that regenerates nerve fibers) causing lesions in the central nervous system.

Cause What causes the onset of this disease? is still unknown.

Experts Do you think there might be an environmental factor? like a viral infection, lack of sunlight, some toxin that can trigger it in individuals with a genetic predisposition to it.

  • “At a given moment – explains Dr. Llaneza – a for reasons unknown, the immune system is responsible for our defenseviral and bacterial infections and ensure that tumors do not develop spontaneously, it goes crazy and starts attacking the body’s own structures by recognizing them as strange & rdquor;.

In case of multiple sclerosis the target of the immune system is myelin which restores nerve fibers located in the brain or spinal cord.

  • This type of sclerosis is also known as the disease of 1000 faces .

And it is because Depending on the affected area of ​​the brain or spinal system, the symptoms will be quite different.

symptoms of multiple sclerosis

It is a disease that can occur in many different ways.

  • with a loss vision of one eye if it affects the optic nerve

  • like a picture dizziness when the impairment occurs in the cerebellum, the part that controls balance.

  • It can also affect sensitivity arms and legs on one side of the body or both legs, depending on which part of the spinal cord is affected.

but there are others very non-specific symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue

  • Fatigue

  • cognitive problems

  • memory disorders

  • Loss of ability to concentrate

  • Reduced ability to process information.

And the reality is that often these symptoms are first attributed to other pathologies, such as depression, anxiety or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Too many consultations before you get to a specialist

This variety of non-specific symptoms means that patients in many cases have to travel through different specialists, such as traumatologists, rheumatologists, eye doctors… before we go to a neurologist and being diagnosed with what they are really “hiding”, which is multiple sclerosis.

Another problem is that, as with many other diseases, time is of the essence in the development of multiple sclerosis .

Dr. Miguel Ángel Llaneza confirms that:

  • “Diagnosis delay represents a delay in treatment is reflected in a worse development of the disease with multiple sequels in the short, medium and long term”.

types of multiple sclerosis

There are several types of multiple sclerosis can be divided into two groups .

  • On one side of the form sclerosis that occurs in relapses called multiple sclerosis repeat sender and that they account for approximately 75% of cases.

“They are patients who have a an outbreak, an attack, an acute crisis, and then recovers either partially or completely. Then he spends time without symptoms until after some time another crisis breaks out again and so on& rdquo ;.

The second group is progressive forms among which there are two

  1. The primary progressive multiple sclerosis, that the disease does not break out from the beginning, but the patient gradually worsens.

  2. There is another way progressive secondary which are the evolution of forms in foci, that is, over time the number of foci tends to decrease until they disappear, but a gradual deterioration begins to occur.

A disease that mainly affects young women

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes physical and cognitive disability and whose The first symptoms usually start to appear when patients are young, between 20 and 30 years of age. and mainly affects women.

3 out of 4 patients with relapsing-remitting sclerosis are women .

As a neurologist explains:

  • with sclerosis The same thing happens with other autoimmune diseases, and in a special way in women . It is assumed that the cause could have some hormonal influence & rdquor;.

  • “In childhood, the prevalence of this disease It is similar for boys and girls.

  • But only after puberty gender differences in the incidence of multiple sclerosis are skyrocketing.

  • And they balance again after the age of menopause & rdquor;.

Physically and mentally disabling

Due to the chronic nature of this disease, it is common for multiple sclerosis patients to develop other comorbidities while anxiety and depressive disorders were the most common (22% and 24%, respectively).

According to a study conducted in Catalonia among more than 5,500 patients, people with multiple sclerosis not only have a higher risk of developing psychiatric comorbidities, but also other diseases such as stroke or epilepsy which can delay the diagnosis of MS itself, increase relapse rates, and increase the disability that patients develop.

cognitive decline

approximately 50% of patients with multiple sclerosis develop multiple cognitive impairment after the first 5 years of disease development.

  • Moose memory problems are the first signs of this deterioration, followed by attention difficulties and subsequently loss of speed in information processing.

Related news

Despite the difficult circumstances of multiple sclerosis Dr. Llaneza assures that “things have changed a lot in the last 25 years for this disease.

  1. The first treatment began to be applied in 1995.

  2. Since up to 16 pharmaceutical preparations are available to treat multiple sclerosis.

“Thanks to these treatments, we get patients a longer life expectancy and better quality of life achieving that the degree of disability develops is lower than a few years ago & rdquo;, concludes the neurologist.

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