Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that leads to the deterioration of the central nervous system. Once diagnosed with MS, patients need to work closely with doctors and specialists to determine the most effective treatment strategy for their specific case. Although there is no cure, treating multiple sclerosis is possible.
The earlier MS is treated, the better the chances of slowing down its progress and minimizing its symptoms. The ultimate goal is to postpone disability, such as paralysis and loss of vision, which are unfortunate inevitabilities in the late stages of the disease.
In determining the right course of action, doctors need to consider the patient’s age, overall health, and the type of MS with which they have been diagnosed. They need to evaluate which treatments will most effectively slow down the progressive mentally and physically debilitating effects of the disease. Another factor is the consideration of whether a particular treatment will decrease the frequency of relapses, as well as prevent fresh lesions from appearing in the body (detected through MRI tests).
Patients also have a responsibility to follow the recommendations of their doctors, as most treatments will ultimately prove ineffective if the patient is uncooperative. For instance, if medication is prescribed, it is imperative that it be taken correctly (i.e. with meals, at certain times of time day). Patients with strict guidelines as to how they take their medications may be wise to adopt scheduled routines and use additional reminder systems, such as cell phone alarms or family supervision. Forgetting to take medication, or taking it improperly, greatly increases the chances of it working ineffectively to slow the progression of the disease.
Certain treatments can significantly impact the way patients live their lives. High-maintenance MS injection therapies or infusion treatments may result in the interruption of normal day-to-day activities. Patients who consider certain treatment methods to be too inconvenient or invasive will need to collaborate with their doctor and MS specialists to coordinate an alternative plan of action.
The consumption of MS medication must be done with careful consideration for its safety guidelines, which should be discussed thoroughly between a patient and their doctor. Patients will need to be made aware of potential side-effects incurred by taking the medication, as well make their doctor aware if, and how, they appear. Close family members should be informed about the specifics of a patient’s treatment strategy, including dosage scheduling and methods of administering, as well as possible side-effects. Honest and open communication between a patient, their family, doctor, and MS specialists is crucial for the effectiveness of any multiple sclerosis treatments.
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