sclerosis is a relatively rare condition although is the most
common neurological disorder in young adults. There are four
recognised types of MS.
• Relapsing / remitting
• Primary progressive
• Secondary progressive
Multiple sclerosis often leads to very complex healthcare needs
with each patient unique in his or her symptoms and healthcare
needs. The disease is variable and unpredictable in its effects
and symptoms throughout the duration of the illness.
Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed in 3.5-6.6 people per 100,000
of the population each year. Prevalence varies from 100-120 per
100,000 of the population equivalent to approximately 59,000
to 71,000 people living with MS in the UK, however, it is estimated
that there may be as many as 85,000 people.
Multiple sclerosis is more common in temperate climates such
as the UK than in tropical regions and affects slightly more
women than men. Scotland is reported to have the highest prevalence
in the world. MS is most frequently diagnosed between 20 to 40
years old; rarely below 12 or over 55 years of age.
The most common type of MS at diagnosis is relapsing /remitting
which accounts for approximately 55% of all cases. This type
is typified by acute disease attacks separated by variable lengths
of stable periods.
Multiple sclerosis is not contagious or hereditary; however there
is a slight elevated risk if a relative has MS. One theory states
that the presence of certain genes makes some people susceptible
and is then triggered by a virus.
Multiple sclerosis is considered to be an auto-immune disease
where a subset of white blood cells (T Cells) attack and damage
the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells thus interfering with
function and information transmission.
The most common symptoms are tiredness, pain, problems with sight,
coordination and mobility. A recent survey of 2265 UK MS patients
revealed that 82% considered spasticity as a problem with 54%
considering that the spasticity had a moderate to high impact
on their quality of life.
HISTORY: Multiple sclerosis diagnosed in 1987. Julie experienced severe spasticity and spasms as a result of the MS.
OUTCOME AFTER RECEIVING ITB THERAPY: Spasticity significantly reduced; no longer uses wheelchair; now works 4 days a week;
participates in water aerobics, horseback riding, and other physical activities.
COMMENT: “I never imagined I’d be walking without a cane and working almost full-time again. I just never imagined it!”