Crystal's MS,TM & LDN Website

Helping Others and Finding A Cure!!!!!!

What Is MS & TM?

  

 

On November of 2004,  I was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis.

 

 

I wanted to make this web site to help me and others that have MS and/or Transverse Myelitis to get through their tough and trying times. I had heard of Multiple Sclerosis but I never heard of Transverse Myelitis before my diagnosis.

There is definitely not enough awareness about MS and Transverse Myelitis, so we all need to become more aware because there are a lot more people living with Multiple Sclerosis than you realize. People need and can help by making donations so a cure can be found. Everyday more and more Americans are diagnosed, and in recent studies, doctors have found Multiple Sclerosis in children as young as age three. There are medications that help slow down the progression and the symptoms.

 

 

Here is a brief description of both Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis.

 

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis

 

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) in which the insulating, protective covering (myelin sheath) surrounding the nerves is destroyed. This destruction results in an interference with the ways the brain signals various parts of the body. Hard or firm scar tissue replaces the areas where the myelin is lost, hence the name multiple sclerosis (multiple scars). MS can range from relatively benign, to somewhat disabling, to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted.

 

 

The 4 main types of Multiple Sclerosis

  

In about 10 percent of people with MS, symptoms are mild or moderate, don't worsen and don't lead to disability. This is called benign MS. Doctors can't know early on if a person has benign MS—it's a matter of hindsight, diagnosed after many years of living with MS. That's why people can't assume they have benign MS, even if they feel good, and should take an effective MS treatment right from the date of diagnosis.

 

 

There are four types of MS:

 

 

                  Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS) - Most of us with MS, about 75 to 85 percent, begin with RRMS. It is the most typical presentation in younger patients. Patients with RRMS go through temporary periods when symptoms get worse. These periods are called relapses, exacerbations, or attacks, and they typically last a few weeks or months. Symptoms during relapses include: numbness or tingling, partial loss of sight, fatigue, and bladder and bowel problems. Eventually, the relapse ends, followed by subsequent improvement. Symptoms gradually disappear, a period called remission. During a remission, MS is still active and can still progress. Damage to axons (nerve fibers) can still occur even though there are no symptoms. This is also where the misconception comes in where others think there is nothing wrong with the patient or why there are patients who get misdiagnosed.

 

       

Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS) - Approximately 10 years after onset, about 50% of us with RRMS will slowly progress to SPMS. Within 25 years, about 90% of us with RRMS will progress to the secondary-progressive type. In the transition to SPMS, symptoms become steadily progressive. Sudden relapses may still occur, but they are superimposed on continuous mental and physical changes, such as progressive gait impairment. There are no longer any periods of complete remission. The symptoms are constant at this level.
In addition, some people may experience
relapsing forms of MS, which include relapsing-remitting, the most common form, and secondary progressive MS with relapses.

 

Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) - For a minority of patients with MS—about 10 percent—MS symptoms are continuous and progressive from the onset. PPMS is characterized by an absence of clinically evident relapses and subsequent symptom-free remissions, as well as less conspicuous inflammation on MRI.

 

 Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS) - In rare cases (only about 5% of us with MS), an individual seems to combine features of several different types of MS. This is known as PRMS. It is characterized by a progressive course from the onset, with only occasional relapses later in the disease. However, the progression doesn't appear to significantly alter long-term outcome.

 

 


 

Transverse Myelitis

 

 

Transverse myelitis (TM) is a neurological condition characterized by an inflammation of the spinal cord. This results in nerve impulses becoming totally blocked at various points. The severity of TM depends upon the severity and extent of the inflammation, and at what level of the spinal cord is affected. In general, the higher up it is affected, the more severe the impairment. Therefore, inflammation near the neck area of the spinal cord is more severe than inflammation further down the spinal column.

 

TM can affect anybody, regardless of age, gender, or race. There appears to be two peak age ranges when the disease most often occurs: between 10 to19 years and 30 to 39 years of age. TM is a rare disease, with the frequency of occurrence estimated to be five new cases for every 1 million people. This disease tends to occur rapidly, often over a period of several hours or several weeks. Initial symptoms might include:

 

 

Back pain

Muscle spasms

Numbness or tingling in the legs

 

As the disease progresses, typical symptoms might include a loss of strength in affected body parts, a loss of sensation, and decreased urinary and bowel function. For inflammation occurring higher up on the spinal cord, the loss of arm and leg movement might occur; however, lower-occurring inflammation might only affect the legs.

The severity of TM varies from mild (mild weakness, mild sensory change, or mild alteration of urinary and bowel function) to severe (total paralysis, complete loss of sensation, and complete loss of urinary and bowel control).

 

 

There are many causes of transverse myelitis. They include:

 

Multiple sclerosis — TM caused by multiple sclerosis tends to affect only one side of the body. A person with this form of TM might retain his or her muscle strength but lose the ability to experience sensation. In general, this is not a severe form of TM.

 

Autoimmune diseases — Diseases such as lupus, in which the body turns its immune system on itself, might cause attacks of TM.

 

Infections — Many types of viral infections have been associated with TM, including herpes simplex, influenza, HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, and rabies. Bacterial infections thought to cause TM include tuberculosis, syphilis, and Lyme borreliosis (Lyme disease).

Transverse myelitis might also occur without the presence of other diseases or infection. When the underlying cause is not apparent, it is referred to as idiopathic transverse myelitis.

TM is usually a monophasic illness (occurring only once). However, in a few patients, it might recur, especially when TM is caused by an underlying illness or multiple sclerosis.

 

Diagnosis
The most common approach to diagnosing TM is to rule out other diseases and disorders. The first step a doctor takes is to review a patient’s medical history and perform a physical examination. Since spinal cord injuries and their causes often cannot be detected through a physical examination, further tests must often be performed.

One of the first things a doctor will look for is a lesion that could be compressing the spinal cord. Lesions can be a herniated disc, tumor, or stenosis (narrowed canal for the spinal cord). It is important to discover lesions early on because surgery can often reverse any damage done to the spinal cord. The test most often used to detect a lesion is the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

If no lesions are present, the next option might be blood work. By testing a patient’s blood, the doctor can rule out other disorders such as lupus, HIV infection, or a vitamin B12 deficiency. Usually, a lumbar puncture is also performed. Lumbar punctures involve withdrawing spinal fluid in order to test it for infections, white blood cell counts, and any abnormal activity of the immune system. Another MRI test might be performed on the brain to check for lesions that might indicate multiple sclerosis.

 

Treatment and management
Currently there is no cure for TM. Instead, treatment is aimed at managing and relieving the symptoms. Although recovery generally begins naturally after a span of two to 12 weeks, the symptoms are commonly treated with high doses of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation and by reducing the activity of the immune system. The use of these drugs has been shown to be effective in helping patients recover at least partially.

In general, recovery from TM is highly variable among individuals. Approximately one-third of people with TM will experience good to complete recovery, another third will experience fair recovery, and the remaining third will recover few or none of their lost functions. If no improvement occurs after three months, further significant improvement is unlikely.

For patients experiencing the lasting effects of TM, many previously effortless activities can become challenging. However, with the support of family and friends — as well as physical therapists and other medical professionals — there is no reason a person with TM cannot have a fulfilling and productive life.

 

 

This should have given you an idea about what Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis is and how it affects those of us suffering with either of these conditions.

 

  


 

 

There are famous people that have Multiple Sclerosis, such as: Montel Williams, Teri Garr, (Country Singers) Hal Ketchum and Clay Walker plus lots more. This link is a list of famous people that have MS.

 

http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/famous.html 

 

http://www.mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk/famous.html

 

http://www.cc2001.bizland.com/Famous_People.htm

 

 


 

 Make sure to check out all my other pages with my story, Information links for both Multiple Sclerosis, Transverse Myelitis and LDN. If you have any questions please [email protected]

 

 


 
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