Multiple sclerosis usually appears between the ages of 20-40, often by making itself known through eye symptoms like blurry vision or unusual sensations like tingling. Luay Shayya, MD, at Neurology Consultants of Arizona in Scottsdale, Arizona, has extensive experience helping patients with multiple sclerosis, providing the ongoing and comprehensive care they need to slow down this progressive disease and reduce the frequency of acute attacks. To get the highest quality of care, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
MS develops when your immune system attacks nerves in your brain and spinal cord, damaging the myelin sheath that covers each nerve. The myelin sheath is needed for nerves to transmit electrical signals. When it’s damaged, your brain can’t communicate properly with the rest of your body.
There are several types of MS:
About 80% of patients are initially diagnosed with this type of MS, which causes symptomatic periods that alternate with periods of remission when symptoms disappear.
This type of MS develops in about 60-70% of patients originally diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. At this stage, you stop having periods of remission, and your symptoms begin to worsen.
About 10-20% of patients are diagnosed with this type of MS right from the start. If you have primary progressive MS, your symptoms gradually worsen over time, and you don’t experience symptom remission.
The symptoms that appear depend on the nerves that are affected by your MS and the extent of the damage to the nerves. The earliest symptoms often affect your eyes, causing:
MS also causes symptoms such as:
You may also develop slurred speech or tremors and feel fatigued.
Dr. Shayya completes a comprehensive neurological exam and orders lab tests as needed to rule out other causes for your symptoms. Once he has an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Shayya develops a treatment plan to slow the progression of MS, help you recover from acute attacks or relapses, and manage your daily symptoms.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous disease-modifying medications to treat relapsing episodes of MS by reducing the frequency and severity of recurring MS attacks. Some medications also reduce nerve damage and may slow down the progression of MS.
You also benefit from physical therapy, which can help you manage muscle weakness and gait problems. Another type of therapy, occupational therapy, teaches you how to perform daily tasks that have become difficult due to MS.
To get comprehensive care for MS, call Neurology Consultants of Arizona, or schedule an appointment online.