Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease affecting around 100,000 people in the UK and 400,000 in the US. In Greece, the sufferers are estimated at around 12,000. It is more common in cold climates: the further a country is from the Equator, the higher the incidence of the disease. In Western Greece, the sufferers number around 1,200.
Our brain translates the stimuli we receive with our senses and gives the commands so that we can make the various movements and react to the stimuli of the sensory organs. This activity of the brain is based on a complex system of nerve communication that starts in the brain and, through the spinal cord, spreads to all parts of the body.
Relapsing/Remitting MS is the most common type accounting for 85% of all patients. It is characterized by relapses (or “flares”) during which the person experiences acute neurological dysfunction, either with new symptoms or with existing ones becoming more severe. Relapses are followed by remissions, which are periods without obvious symptoms. Relapse is defined as a new or recurrent neurological symptom that occurs continuously for 24 to 48 hours without improvement. They usually last days to weeks before they reach their zenith and partially or completely subside.
Depending on the damage that will be caused during the push phase, corresponding problems will appear. If, for example, the optic nerve is affected, vision problems will appear such as achromia, myopia, difficulty seeing. There may be varying degrees of motor problems, aesthetic problems, othrocystic problems, sexual problems, numbness, etc. The main symptom that almost all patients face is depression and easy fatigue which is usually treated with a change in daily habits – rest, etc.
Since there is still no cure for the disease, for the intermittent form, medicinal treatments are applied which mainly modify the immune system of the sufferer so that the number and intensity of the attacks are reduced by a satisfactory percentage, resulting in the sufferer having fewer disabilities and consequently a better quality of life. These treatments are either in injectable or pill form and their effectiveness varies from patient to patient. Usually none of the existing treatments are suitable for the entire life of the sufferer and when there is a need it is appropriately modified according to the course of the disease which we must note is unique for each patient.