Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are living with it – approximately 400,000 people to be exact, and of that, 86 percent list fatigue as the number one symptom of their disease. The cause of MS is unknown; it is not contagious or known to be directly inherited, but factors for multiple sclerosis in adults that may play a role include:
- Gender – Women are impacted more than two times as often as men
- Age – Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50
- Geography – Most people with multiple sclerosis live in moderate climates
- Ethnic background – Caucasians are at a greater risk
It is thought that multiple sclerosis symptoms occur when an immune system attack affects myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. For individuals with MS, myelin is destroyed and replaced by scars of hardened sclerotic tissue. Some underlying nerve fibers are permanently cut off, and the damage manifests in multiple places within the central nervous system — providing the disease with its name.
While no cure for multiple sclerosis has been discovered yet, several FDA-approved medications are accessible for the long-term treatment of MS. These drugs have been shown to lessen the number and severity of MS flare-ups, and possibly delay disease progression. In addition, many therapeutic and technological advances are helping people manage symptoms.
If you live in Sacramento, CA or the surrounding area, contact Live Well at Home to find out how our in-home caregivers can help a person with MS to feel enabled, motivated and connected to others. Feel free to call us anytime at 916-459-3220, or review our in-home and respite-care services online.