March 21, 2024

A young woman holds a coffee mug and looks off into the distance as she ponders how best to manage her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects millions worldwide, but understanding its causes and treatment options can empower patients and caregivers alike.

While there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are diagnosed with the condition—as many as 400,000 individuals in fact, and of that, 86 percent of MS patients note fatigue as the top symptom they’re experiencing. The cause of MS is unknown; it is not a communicable disease or known to be hereditary, but factors that may come into play include the following:

  • Gender – Women are afflicted more than two times as often as males
  • Age – Most individuals are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50
  • Geography – Most individuals with multiple sclerosis live in temperate environments
  • Ethnic background – Caucasians are at a greater risk

It is thought that multiple sclerosis symptoms occur when an immune system attack impacts myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. For those with multiple sclerosis, myelin is destroyed and replaced with scarring of hard sclerotic tissue. Some underlying nerve fibers are forever severed, and the deterioration manifests in a number of places within the central nervous system—providing the disease with its name.

While we’re awaiting a cure, there are a wide array of treatment options currently available to help. Medications can alter the disease course, treat relapses, and manage symptoms, improving quality of life and comfort for individuals with multiple sclerosis. These medications include:

Disease Course Modification

  • Injectable medications such as interferon beta 1a and 1b, glatiramer acetate, and peginterferon beta 1a
  • Oral medications such as teriflunomide, fingolimod, cladribine, siponimod, dimethyl fumarate, and diroximel fumarate
  • Infused medications such as alemtuzumab, mitoxantrone, ocrelizumab, and natalizumab

Relapse Management

  • IV or oral corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone, prednisone, and ACTH

Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Management

A wide range of medications can be prescribed to ease symptoms such as:

  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Bladder infection
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Tremors
  • Walking difficulties
  • And more

In addition, various non-medicinal therapeutic and technological advancements can be helpful, as can specialized in-home care services, which will make life more comfortable, easier, and safer for those with multiple sclerosis.

Continuum is always available to offer a free in-home assessment and creation of a customized plan of care to help overcome any difficulties being experienced by an individual with multiple sclerosis. Whether the need is for just several hours of help with housekeeping and companionship, full-time, live-in care to enhance safety and to prevent falls, or anything in between, our professional, compassionate care team is fully trained and experienced in meeting a full range of multiple sclerosis care needs. Call us any time at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 or reach out to us online to learn more. Continuum provides home care services in St. Charles, Sunset Hills, Ladue, and throughout the surrounding areas.