sclerosis

About 14 thousand Mexicans with multiple sclerosis

This disease is among the 10 main causes of attending neurological consultation and is the main reason for disability in young adults.

This May 27, World Multiple Sclerosis Day is celebrated, with the aim of informing and sensitizing the population about this neurological disease that has increased by 10% in recent years and affects approximately 2.3 million people worldwide, including 5 to 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease of the central nervous system, is among the 10 main causes of attending neurological consultation and is the main reason for disability in young adults. In Mexico, the prevalence is 11 to 13 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, that is, 12 to 14,000 patients suffer from it.

Dr. Noemí Santos, medical director of Landsteiner Scientific, a Mexican pharmaceutical laboratory, comments that it is not known exactly what factor causes or triggers the appearance of MS, but it is characterized by appearing abruptly, that is, the patient has no premonitory data what is going to happen; by generating involvement of different anatomical sites of the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord) in the same period of time, the patient may have alterations in the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and also motor or sensory variations in different parts of the body; and finally by presenting without any other systemic manifestation, for example fever.

The acute presentation of multiple manifestations is the most common, the patient who starts with this disease is generally a healthy person, without any important antecedents or that have even gone unnoticed and that disappear in short periods of time.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that occurs more frequently in women and in young people 20-45 years of age, although there are diagnoses in adolescence and later ages (60-65 years).

MS is not considered a hereditary disease. In this regard, interesting observations have been made in this regard:

- Risk of acquiring MS for the brother of a patient: 2,4%

- Risk of acquiring MS when both parents are affected and the disease is diagnosed early: 30%,

- Risk of acquiring the disease when both parents are affected and the disease is diagnosed (patients over 40 years of age): 0,5%

- When a relative has MS the risk for a child: 2-5%.

- Risk for monozygotic twins or identical twins: 26,7%

- Risk for dizygotic twins or twins: 3.5%

- In high prevalence areas: General population risk: 0,1%

Physical therapy and immune-suppressing medications are currently used to treat the disease, which can help with symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Being the multiple sclerosis an autoimmune disease, your own immune system attacks healthy cells without knowing the real cause of it. The truth is that improving the quality of life in patients with this disease is the most successful way to delay the symptoms that accompany it.

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