MS is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves). There are more than 450,000 people in the United States with MS, making it among the most common neurological illnesses in North America. Although MS can appear at any age, it most commonly begins between the ages of 20 and 40, and affects women twice as often as men.
Symptoms of MS
As virtually any region of the central nervous system may be affected by MS, the symptoms of MS are quite varied. Approximately 50% of patients with MS first present with an isolated neurological problem and an almost equal number have more than one symptom heralding their illness. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be mild or severe and can occur in varying degrees of intensity. Relapses or the exacerbation of symptoms can last for days or weeks and then resolve. Over time, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis can also become chronic and longstanding.
Among the most common symptoms of MS are:
• Visual loss
• Double vision
• Trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain)
• Facial weakness
• Numbness and tingling
• Weakness of one or more extremities
• Gait abnormalities and imbalance
• Cognitive difficulties
• Bowel and bladder problems
• Sexual dysfunction
Symptoms of MS may mimic many other neurologic disorders. A diagnosis of MS starts with a thorough history and neurologic examination. Other diagnoses that may mimic MS must be excluded. Objective evidence of demyelination, damage to the myelin sheath, the covering that protects nerve fibers, is obtained by examination and supplementary studies. People with MS typically experience one of four disease courses, which can be mild, moderate or severe.
Our Approach to Treating MS
Our Rehabilitation Program provides patients access to:
• Nutritional classes
• Participation in wellness education and cognitive activities
• Weekly exercise groups for patients
• Advanced, on-site equipment technology such as cardiovascular conditioning, passive motion machines, stationary cycles, and strength conditioning extremity machines
• Speech and swallowing evaluation and treatment
• Support groups for patient education and continued therapy
• On-site case management to help patients stick with rehabilitation activities
Patients are encouraged to invite family members and loved ones to the Center when seeking to better understand the challenges faced by those living with MS. A schedule of caregiver groups will be available to family members.
To date, there is no cure for MS. However, over the past two decades, MS has become a highly manageable disease with therapies that cannot only accelerate the recovery from new symptoms due to a relapse, but also therapies that decrease the frequency of disease relapses and activity.
To schedule a new patient appointment
760-323-7676, ext 110
ACT For Multiple Sclerosis
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Southern California & Nevada
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Multiple Sclerosis Association
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke