An Illustrated Pocketbook of Multiple Sclerosis

An Illustrated Pocketbook of Multiple Sclerosis

An Illustrated Pocketbook of Multiple Sclerosis

An Illustrated Pocketbook of Multiple Sclerosis

Synopsis

Because MS affects men and women in their most productive time of life, it is often viewed as a devastating illness that can rarely be treated. While the efficacy of specific treatments may remain in dispute, there are many measures available that can significantly improve the comfort and quality of life of patients with MS. This illustrated pocketbook presents an easily accessible summary of key issues relating to diagnosing multiple sclerosis and managing patients at different stages of the disease. Designed as a practical reference for clinicians, it features concise, expert text and provides a richly illustrated guide to diagnosis and treatment.

Excerpt

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has fascinated physicians ever since it was first described. Its extraordinary clinical variability and its unpredictability, when added to the complexities of the immune system alterations believed to play an important role in its development, may explain why it has attracted such great interest. Its importance is underlined by the fact that it affects two million people world-wide. The disease has been known for over 160 years but, despite enormous expenditures of time and money on research, many aspects of its pathogenesis are still unknown.

There is, as yet, no clear understanding of the etiology and risk factors, and of the meaning of much epidemiological data. Most importantly, fully effective modes of prevention and treatment remain elusive. Because it affects men and women in their most productive time of life, and may cause the end of a promising career or a happy marriage, it is often viewed as a devastating illness that can rarely be helped with treatment. Most acute bouts can be rapidly and effectively terminated and there are many symptomatic measures available that can significantly improve the comfort and quality of life of patients with MS. Long-term treatment has now become available, but, while these drugs reduce the number of relapses, it is not yet clear if they have a significant effect on the progress of the disease. Fortunately, only a minority of patients are rendered severely disabled by the disease. There is still much to be learned about MS, but progress has been made, particularly in regard to the reliability of available diagnostic methods, as well as our understanding of its pathology.

Multiple sclerosis is an acute inflammatory disease that causes focal demyelination of the brain and spinal cord; it also causes axonal loss. There is evidence for limited remyelination of indeterminate significance. The disease is characterized by dissemination in space and time. The lesions involve separate parts of the central nervous system

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