Multiple Sclerosis Prognosis
Multiple sclerosis often occurs in varying patters and in each pattern; the person afflicted with he condition may experience sudden deterioration of normal physical activities. Most of the time, multiple sclerosis starts from an acute flare up of the symptoms within several hours to a few days. This is known as the attack or the relapse. Optic neuritis or the optic nerve inflammation is among the first symptoms of the condition and this causes pain due to eye movements and visual deterioration. However, you have to take note that not all patients may experience optic neuritis. Another commonly observed symptom is sensory disturbances like tingling sensations and numbness.
In the early stages of multiple sclerosis prognosis, the symptoms are resolved spontaneously within several days or months. This is known as relapsing remitting. Fresh relapses may occur several weeks to years consisting of new or earlier encountered symptoms. Certain MRI scans revealed that relapsing remitting can cause further damages to the nerves and this may continue even if the symptoms have already subsided. This makes it more crucial to focus on the preventive measures that should be taken against multiple sclerosis. In some cases, the course of multiple sclerosis may change after several years and the symptoms would start to subside gradually with or without relapses.
Chronic depression is another common symptom of multiple sclerosis. This is considered as the primary progressive condition of multiple sclerosis and this encompasses bladder disturbances, gain and weakness in legs. The degenerative processes are known to play a vital role in the course of the condition. Chronic progression due to the early symptoms along with superimposed relapses is known as relapsing progressive. Progression of multiple sclerosis is often difficult to predict. Some people can still walk properly and go on with their regular activities after several years of being diagnosed with the condition.
In all cases of multiple sclerosis, only 5% or less experience severe progressive form which results to death in a period of five years. In the case of a benign form, 10% to 20% of patients experience no or gradual progression of the symptoms. Studies revealed that 7 out of 10 sufferers were able to live 25 years more after diagnosis. Experts believe that multiple sclerosis can shorten the lives of men by 11 years and of women by 6 years. In younger multiple sclerosis patients, the most common cause of death is suicide. For patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, the life expectancy is at 35 years after the prevalence of the symptoms.
This information regarding multiple sclerosis prognosis was acquired before immunodulatory drugs were introduced a decade ago. The introduction of these drugs made it possible to delay the progression of the condition for several years. Various researches, experiments and clinical studies were carried out continuously for the prevention of multiple sclerosis. Presently, there are no established researches on the details for the prognosis of the condition. For newly diagnosed patients, one frustration is the uncertainty to live with a debilitating disease. This made it even more difficult to predict the life expectancy of the patient after diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis Prognosis Regarding Life Expectancy
An individual with multiple sclerosis has an average life expectancy of 35 years from the first appearance of the symptoms. This represents 95% of the life expectancy of the sufferer. Multiple sclerosis patients can still function effectively but there are rare cases of the condition where it becomes fatal within several weeks.
Prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis Regarding Disease Progression
There are several clues that can provide an indication on fast the condition progresses. Multiple sclerosis may progress slowly if:
- Fewer attacks occur during the first several years after the diagnosis.
- Attacks have longer intervals.
- Complete recovery is achieved after an attack.
- Most episodes are sensory in nature and only trigger symptoms like tingling sensation and numbness.
On the other hand, multiple sclerosis progresses faster if:
- More attacks occur during the first years after diagnosis.
- Attacks occur frequently.
- Patients are unable to recover completely after an episode.
- Motor symptoms are present like coordination problems, tremors and difficulty walking.
- More lesions are found on MRI images.
How Diagnosis Affects Multiple Sclerosis Prognosis
- A physician may diagnose the condition in the patient as soon as it starts. However, there are times when the physician cannot identify the root cause of the symptoms for several years.
- Majority of multiple sclerosis patients are mildly affected. However, in worst cases, the condition can cause the patient to become unable to speak, walk or write. Multiple sclerosis is a condition that may improve spontaneously without any known effective treatment.
Seeking the help of an expert can make it easier for you to understand how your condition progresses. This is because your physician can monitor the course of your condition, especially after an attack or an episode. This can make it easier for you to apply preventive measures to slow down multiple sclerosis prognosis and prevent it from worsening.