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Multiple Sclerosis -- Adult

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by Alan R




The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
  • MRI scan—to take pictures of internal structures around the brain and spinal cord
  • Sensory evoked potentials—to record the electrical responses evoked after a sensory stimulus
  • Visual evoked potential test—to look for problems in the brain that affect vision
  • Lumbar puncture—to check the fluid around the brain and spinal cord, which may rule out other diseases
  • Blood tests—to rule out other diseases that may mimic MS


There is no cure for MS, you can manage the disease with medication, lifestyle changes, and counseling. Treatment will help relieve symptoms, prevent relapses, delay disability, and slow disease progression. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Supportive Therapies

Other therapies may help relieve some physical and emotional symptoms of MS. Each therapy has unique benefits and potential side effects which may interfere with other therapies you are using. Work with your medical team to help find therapies that work best for you. Supportive therapies include:
  • Regular moderate exercise with your doctor's permission—swimming may be especially beneficial
  • Physical therapy to help maintain muscle strength and tone, dexterity, and walking ability
  • Occupational therapy to help with assisted devices and daily living activities
  • Speech and/or swallowing therapy
  • Cognitive therapy to address specific neuropsychiatric problems
  • Stress reduction techniques
Some alternative therapies that have shown some benefits for some include:
Talk to your doctor before you try any alternative therapies.

Psychological Therapies

Individual or group therapy will help you learn coping strategies for physical symptoms and emotional stress.

Avoiding Periods of Relapse

Some forms of MS have periods remissions that alternate with relapses. Take these steps to help you avoid relapses and worsening of symptoms:
  • Adhere to the treatment plan you worked out with your doctor
  • Get adequate rest
  • Avoid hot weather
  • Stay in air-conditioned places during periods of hot weather
  • Avoid hot showers or baths
  • Avoid overexertion and stress
  • Avoid infection by:
    • Using proper hygiene
    • Staying away from people who are sick
    • Thoroughly cooking food
    • Practicing safe sex
  • Quitting smoking—smoking may worsen MS, causing the condition to progress to a more severe form


Multiple Sclerosis Association of America

National Multiple Sclerosis Society



Health Canada

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada



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