Multiple sclerosis is 2 times more common in women.

Neurologist Dr Güven Arslan said multiple sclerosis (MS), which is diagnosed in 3 to 8 people in 100,000 each year, is caused by the damage to the myelin sheaths of nerve cells (neurons) in the central nervous system (CNS) by the elements of the individual’s own immune system.

Noting that there are four subtypes of MS, they are known to be about 2 times more common in women than in men and usually occur between the ages of 20 and 40, says Dr. Arslan said: “The most common of these is the subtype known as relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), which progresses with attacks and recovery periods. While a gradual worsening of clinical findings is observed in the primary progressive MS subtype without significant attacks, in the secondary progressive MS subtype progressive (progressive) findings are observed in the patient who was primarily followed up with RRMS. Another picture is the period when the first findings, called clinically isolated syndrome, are usually considered the first attack of MS disease. said.

“Exact cause unknown”

Dr. Dr. Arslan said MS can have more than one cause. Dr. Dr. Arslan said: “At these points, there is the activation of cells of the immune system, an increase in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier and tissue damage. As a result, areas that we call MS plaques are formed in MR (magnetic resonance) imaging. .

“There is numbness and loss of strength in certain areas”

Noting that the nerve cell, damaged by demyelination (damage to the myelin sheath), cannot perform its functions and this often causes symptoms such as numbness, tingling and loss of strength in a certain part of the body, this situation is defined as a ” MS attack”. Arslan stated that although it varies according to the area of ​​the brain affected, all kinds of neurological complaints such as “vision problems, dizziness, speech disorders” can occur.

Explain that after the evaluation of all these findings in the neurological exam, radiological imaging, contrast (medication, color) brain and spinal MRIs should be performed. Arslan said: “Ultimately, the number, location, shape and age of MS plaques are very important in diagnosis. The formation of plaques at different ages/times (DIT, distribution over time) and formation at different sites ( DIS, spatial dissemination) in consecutive MRIs have diagnostic features. Finally, with the help of a needle, cerebrospinal fluid should be taken from the lumbar region and the analysis performed. As a result of the analysis, inflammatory substances are seen to increase.

“Drugs regulate the immune system”

Dr. Arslan said these are “interferon beta preparations” that suppress chronic inflammation by affecting molecules called cytokines that regulate the communication of immune system cells with each other. Dr. Dr. Arslan said: “Another drug, natalizumab, is a monoclonal antibody that is administered intravenously and is used to prevent cells of the immune system from crossing the blood-brain barrier. Fingolimod is also an oral medication that works to decrease the migration (movement) of immune system cells. While many different medications are used, including some chemotherapy drugs, the goal of all of them is to suppress the chronic inflammatory process seen in MS disease at various stages.

“Healthy food and sleep are important”

Dr. Arslan emphasized that while there is no definitive treatment yet, with the exception of a few patients with advanced and severe neurological findings, MS patients continue their daily lives normally and suggested the following:

“Healthy nutrition, monitoring vitamin values ​​and topping up if necessary are of great importance. If there are sleep disturbances, they should be corrected and stress should be avoided. Routine neurological checks should be continued, medications and blood values ​​checked for possible side effects. With all these life changes, seizures can be controlled.

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