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Multiple Sclerosis

Information And Treatment

Multiple sclerosis, commonly referred to as MS, is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. MS is more common in women than men. Although it can be diagnosed at any age, it is most often seen between the ages of 20 and 40.

MS is characterized by "episodes" that can last days, weeks or months. Possible symptoms include loss of balance and coordination, muscle spasms, numbness, tremors or weakness. Other symptoms include vision problems or eye discomfort, memory loss and confusion, and depression.

Individuals with MS are typically diagnosed through a neurological exam. Although there is no treatment to staunch the disease, there are a number of modalities that are known to slow the progression, decrease the severity and alleviate the symptoms of MS. These include physical therapy, a specialized exercise program and healthy lifestyle changes (including good nutrition and fitness habits). According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, massage is a viable means of relief for symptoms such as spasticity, poor circulation, pain, anxiety and depression. The same organization also confirms that acupuncture may successfully address MS-related pain, spasticity, numbness and tingling, bladder problems and depression.