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What is MS
Causes
Symptoms
Treatment
Outlook
References

Treatment for MS

There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time. However, there are therapies that may slow the disease. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms and help you maintain a normal quality of life.

Medications

Medications used to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis are taken on a long-term basis, they include:

Steroids may be used to decrease the severity of attacks.

Medications to control symptoms may include:

Therapy & Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation programs focus on function—they are designed to help you improve or maintain your ability to perform effectively and safely at home and at work. Rehabilitation professionals focus on overall fitness and energy management, while addressing problems with accessibility and mobility, speech and swallowing, and memory and other cognitive functions.

Franciscan St. James Hospital along with METT Therapy recommends Elizabeth Scott, our newest Physical Therapist specializing in patients with MS and Parkinson's Disease. Learn more about Elizabeth.

The following may also be helpful for people with MS:

Household changes to ensure safety and ease in moving around the home are often needed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome varies, and is hard to predict. Although the disorder is chronic and incurable, life expectancy can be normal or almost normal. Most people with MS continue to walk and function at work with minimal disability for 20 or more years.

The following typically have the best outlook:

The amount of disability and discomfort depends on:

Most people return to normal or near-normal function between attacks. Slowly, there is greater loss of function with less improvement between attacks. Over time, many require a wheelchair to get around and have a more difficult time transferring out of the wheelchair.

Those with a support system are often able to remain in their home.

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

References

Calabresi P. Multiple sclerosis and demyelinating conditions of the central nervous system. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 436.

Carroll WM. Oral therapy for multiple sclerosis--sea change or incremental step? N Engl J Med. 2010 Feb 4;362(5):456-8. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

Goodin DS, Cohen BA, O'Connor P, et al. Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Assessment: the use of natalizumab (Tysabri) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (an evidence-based review): report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2008:71(10):766-73.

Farinotti M, Simi S, Di Pietrantonj C, McDowell N, Brait L, Lupo D, Filippini G. Dietary interventions for multiple sclerosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jan 24;(1):CD004192.

Kappos L, Freedman MS, Polman CH, et al. Effect of early versus delayed interferon beta-1b treatment on disability after a first clinical event suggestive of multiple sclerosis: a 3-year follow-up analysis of the BENEFIT study. Lancet. 2007:370(9585):389-97.

Miller DH, Leary SM. Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol. 2007;6:903-912.

Marriott JJ, Miyasaki JM, Gronseth G, O'Connor PW; Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Evidence Report: The efficacy and safety of mitoxantrone (Novantrone) in the treatment of multiple sclerosis: Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2010 May 4;74(18):1463-70.