Dr Lucio D’Anna is a Consultant Neurologist at the Department of Stroke & Neurosciences at Imperial College London NHS Trust. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London.
The symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body. The main symptoms include fatigue, difficulty walking, vision problems, such as blurred vision, problems controlling the bladder, numbness or tingling in different parts of the body, muscle stiffness and spasms, problems with balance and coordination, problems with thinking, learning and planning.
Depending on the type of MS and the stage of the disease, symptoms may come and go in phases, or get steadily worse over time.
Dementech uses some of the most advanced technological and clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. The diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, magnetic resonance imaging, lumbar puncture, blood tests and evoked potentials. The diagnosis is made by a consultant neurologist, specialised in MS.
It’s not clear what exactly causes multiple sclerosis. There has been reported that a genetic predisposition based on parental DNA can have an effect in your chances of suffering from MS.
Possible causes of MS include:
- Genetics: People who are related to someone with MS are more likely to have the disease
- Lack of sunlight & vitamin D deficiency: MS is more common in countries that have less sunlight with lower vitamin D levels
- Viral infections: infections such as glandular fever might trigger MS
- Smoking – Smokers are almost twice as likely to develop MS in comparison to non-smokers
Treatment for MS depends on the specific symptoms and difficulties the person has. It may include the treatment of relapses of MS symptoms (with steroid medication), treatment of specific MS symptoms, or for example treatment to reduce the number of relapses (disease-modifying therapies).
In the cases of increasing neurological disability, it is essential to sufficiently support the patients in their rehabilitation and disability management needs. In every case, the patient is supported by a team of many healthcare professionals working together.