Living with multiple sclerosis can present daily challenges, but managing your medications shouldn’t be one of them. Whether your regimen is designed to modify the disease, manage symptoms, treat flare-ups — or all three — MedCart is here to help.
Our dedicated experts work with both physicians and patients to make sure the sometimes complicated medication protocol is correctly managed. This not only can improve outcomes but can also help keep costs to a minimum.
Multiple Sclerosis Basics
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which affects the brain and spinal cord. Experts aren’t sure what causes MS, although it may be an autoimmune disease, which means the body attacks its own healthy tissue.
It’s most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although people much younger or older can develop it. There’s no cure for MS, which isn’t considered fatal. Symptoms vary from person to person and even in the same individual over time. Although often mild, symptoms may create challenges for people if they become increasingly debilitating over time.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Although MS can cause a variety of symptoms — blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis and more — they aren’t enough to definitively diagnose MS. A medical history and neurologic exam are essential diagnostic tools, along with tests such as MRI and spinal fluid analysis.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says a timely, accurate diagnosis is important, because permanent neurologic damage can begin even in the earliest stages of the disease. Starting appropriate treatments as soon as possible can help.
There are many effective treatments today that can slow the progression of MS, modify the disease course, treat exacerbations — also known as attacks, relapses or flare-ups — manage symptoms and improve function. There are a number of different therapies that can reduce disease activity and progression for many people with certain types of MS.
Symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, can be managed with medication, rehabilitation and the use of assistive devices. Exacerbations can be treated with medication. In addition, rehabilitation including physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapy can help maintain and improve function.
Researchers continue searching for new medications and treatment options to help modify the disease course, alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life of people living with MS.