This chapter, which we pulled from Samuel’s Manual of Neurologic Therapeutics, is written in a practical and accessible style. It is meant to serve as an introduction to MS and provides information on the epidemiology, MS symptoms, diagnostic testing and diagnosis, as well as how to manage new or worsening symptoms. The chapter is written in an outline format and is meant to provide you with a quick reference tool to help answer some questions you may have about MS.
Although the terms for the classifications of MS and the diagnostic criteria have evolved since the publication of this book, the overall information as a whole will help you gather a better understanding of what you may be experiencing or will experience while living with MS.
What not to miss:
It is important to understand that the information presented in this chapter is meant to help you gain a greater knowledge of your disease and encourage you to open up new dialogues with your healthcare providers so that you have a greater control over the disease and how you live your life.
- Table 7-1 “Diagnoses That Mimic Multiple Sclerosis” provides an overview of neurologic conditions that often are confused with MS.
- When reading the “Classifications and Clinical Considerations” section keep in mind that most healthcare providers no longer use the terms listed to describe some of the subtypes of MS found in this section. The terms benign and malignant MS, found on page 178, are no longer used by physicians when diagnosing MS.
- The treating symptoms section provides you with valuable information on how your healthcare provider might help to manage symptoms you may have including depression, fatigue, cognitive issues, spasticity, pain and incontinence.
- The authors realize the importance of complementary and alternative therapies as outlined in this chapter, but also caution that these treatments are not meant to replace standard conventional approaches recommended by your healthcare provider. It is important to discuss any alternative treatment with your healthcare provider before beginning.
- Finally, the six principles of treatment are listed in Table 7-3. This section, Treatments that Alter the Course of the Disease, includes drug therapies which were approved for MS prior to 2010 and is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all drug therapies presently approved for the treatment of MS. You can find a link to the full listing of all the currently approved drug therapies on our site under the (treatment tab) http://ms-coalition.org/