Multiple Sclerosis: Early Diagnosis Can Change the Future

As every May 30, this date is presented as an opportunity for those who work daily to make Multiple Sclerosis visible by carrying out various activities and disseminating information around the world. Although little is known about this pathology, specialists say that the first reports compatible with the disease in the world were in the early 1400s, where the first case was diagnosed as possession by an evil spirit that generated a progressive neurological disability for the patient. Some time later, and after several investigations, it was only progressively known that it was an autoimmune neurological disease, that is, the immune system responsible for the defense against external organisms mistakenly generated an attack against an organ of the body, in this case the central nervous system. In parallel, degenerative phenomena associated with this system occur. Already in the 90s, during the so-called decade of the brain due to therapeutic advances in this area, the first treatment that modified the course of the disease appeared. Today a new revolution is being experienced in Multiple Sclerosis with the advent of new drugs, thanks to the appearance of monoclonal antibodies and oral drugs.

Multiple sclerosis is a neuroimmunological disease, as damage occurs in the myelin sheaths that envelop the nerves. When these structures are destroyed, the nerves are not able to transmit the nerve impulse.

But what are the causes of this disease? Vladimiro Sinay (MN 92843), Head of the Demyelinating Diseases Area of INECO, explains that “It is a multifactorial disease where there are genetic factors that are typified: related to the cells of the immune system, the cellular recognition system, the molecules involved in inflammation, the cellular receptors of these molecules, among others. In parallel there are environmental factors that have been investigated such as sun exposure, vitamin D, salt intake, obesity, smoking and environmental pollution, certain viruses such as Epstein Barr.” However, according to the INECO specialist, until today there is not enough data to recommend any behavior or preventive studies for those people who have never presented a symptom, even if they have a family history. In that sense, this disease begins to manifest itself in most patients with fluctuating symptoms, which appear and disappear, called outbreaks or relapses. In other patients, after many years of illness symptoms may appear and progress very slowly. “Some of them can be weakness, sensory disorders, instability, incoordination, problems urinating, among others. However, these symptoms do not always occur in Multiple Sclerosis, since they are common to many neurological diseases. That is why before any unusual symptom you should consult a specialist, “says Sinay. 

Although little is known and little is spoken, specialists recognize that in recent years they have done hard work to reinforce the importance of rehabilitation therapies. For this, we work with neurologists, kinesiologists and physiatrists, occupational therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, play-based therapy and arts, neurocognitivists, clinicians, nurses and support groups. Being a chronic, complex disease with multiple symptoms, it must be addressed in an interdisciplinary way to manage and rehabilitate patients. In the same vein, Vladimiro assures that “the treatment of the disease is based on three pillars: the supply of corticosteroids as anti-inflammatories in the event of a relapse, treatment with therapies that modify relapses and long-term evolution, on the other hand and finally, the treatment of symptoms with rehabilitation and medications that improve them.” Thanks to advances in the medical industry and pharmacological advances, together with the appearance of an extensive therapeutic weapon, it was possible to modify the evolution of the disease. Today, specialists say that education and awareness favor an early diagnosis and it has been shown that this disease treated in time can change its future significantly. So much so that this 7/06 at 18:00 hs. INECO specialists will give a talk in which patients will participate who will be able to solve those questions that arise in the office, in order to raise awareness about it. Those who want to, can follow her live on Facebook and Instagram of Fundación Ineco. 
GrIn addition to these awareness-raising activities and the dissemination of information, patients now adapt and integrate into society, their work and their social and family activities, without any inconvenience.

Original source in Spanish

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