Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Options
Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, many new treatments have been developed in the last two to three decades. As such, patients with MS live longer and less disabled lives than they used to.
In general, MS treatment focuses on three goals:
- Speed recovery during attacks.
- Manage the symptoms of MS.
- Slow the progression of the disease overall.
To accomplish this goal, doctors have a number of tools at their disposal.
Multiple Sclerosis attacks are generally treated with either corticosteroid, which reduces nerve inflammation, or plasmapheresis, which may be used if steroids have failed.
MS progression is treated differently depending on whether a patient has a diagnosis of PPMS or RRMS. Typically, medications are used to slow the overall disease progression. This is most effective in the earliest stages of the disease when the bulk of the immune response occurs. Medications typically focus on reducing the frequency of relapse or reducing the damage caused by disease activity.
MS symptoms often manifest as stiff or spasming muscles, weakness, fatigue, depression, and pain. Physical therapy can be used to target muscle weakness and tasks of daily living. Medications can help minimize or remove some of these symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications can also help manage some of the secondary symptoms of MS. Exercise and meditation can mitigate depression, for example, while eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can manage fatigue to a certain degree.
As your MS specialist, David S. Tabby, DO., will work with you to find the best treatment for your life and the course of your disease.