New Solutions For The Prevention Of Memory Loss From Multiple Sclerosis – Part 2 of 3
What is Multiple Sclerosis? An unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS) can reach from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Many investigators believe MS to be an autoimmune disease – one in which the body, through its invulnerable system, launches a defensive attack against its own tissues. In the case of MS, it is the nerve-insulating myelin that comes under assault. Such assaults may be linked to an unknown environmental trigger, as the case may be a virus.
Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40; the initial symptom of MS is often blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. Most MS patients skill muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance. These symptoms may be severe enough to impair walking or even standing. In the worst cases, MS can provide partial or complete paralysis.
Most people with MS also exhibit paresthesias, transitory abnormal sensory feelings such as numbness, prickling, or “pins and needles” sensations. Some may also experience pain. Speech impediments, tremors, and dizziness are other iterative complaints. Occasionally, people with MS have hearing loss. Approximately half of all people with MS experience cognitive impairments such as difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, and infertile judgment, but such symptoms are usually mild and are frequently overlooked. Depression is another common feature of MS.
Is there any treatment? There is as yet no cure for MS. Many patients do well with no remedy at all, especially since many medications have serious side effects and some carry significant risks. However, three forms of beta interferon (Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif) have now been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for therapy of relapsing-remitting MS.
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New Solutions For The Prevention Of Memory Loss From Multiple Sclerosis – Part 1 of 3
New Solutions For The Prevention Of Memory Loss From Multiple Sclerosis. Being mentally potent may help reduce memory and learning problems that often transpire in people with multiple sclerosis, a new study suggests. It included 44 people, about age 45, who’d had MS for an average of 11 years. Even if they had higher levels of perceptiveness damage, those with a mentally active lifestyle had better scores on tests of learning and memory than those with less intellectually enriching lifestyles. “Many people with MS struggle with learning and memory problems,” writing-room author James Sumowski, of the Kessler Foundation Research Center in West Orange, NJ, said in an American Academy of Neurology news release.
So “This study shows that a mentally influential lifestyle might reduce the harmful effects of brain damage on learning and memory. Learning and memory ability remained quite good in people with enriching lifestyles, even if they had a lot of intelligence damage brain atrophy as shown on brain scans ,” Sumowski continued. “In contrast, persons with lesser mentally active lifestyles were more likely to suffer learning and memory problems, even at milder levels of leader damage”.
Sumowski said the “findings suggest that enriching activities may build a person’s ‘cognitive reserve,’ which can be thought of as a buffer against disease-related memory impairment. Differences in cognitive set among persons with MS may explain why some persons suffer memory problems early in the disease, while others do not develop memory problems until much later, if at all”.
The study appears in the June 15 emanation of Neurology. In an editorial accompanying the study, Peter Arnett of Penn State University wrote that “more research is needed before any firm recommendations can be made,” but that it seemed within reason to encourage people with MS to get involved with mentally challenging activities that might improve their cognitive reserve.
Parts: 1 2 3