March is National MS Awareness and Education Month. Organized by the MS foundation since 2003, this month gives health institutions and organizations the opportunity to raise awareness of MS, diagnosis of the disease and different multiple sclerosis treatment options. Mexico’s leading healthcare provider takes a look at the things we should all know about MS:
Q1: What is MS?
A1: MS, or multiple sclerosis, is a disease that affects the nerves (known as a neurological disease). Our nerves are surrounded by myelin, which wraps around the nerves to protect them. In a person with MS, the immune system attacks itself, resulting in the breakdown of the myelin sheaths, leaving scar tissues or lesions where the healthy myelin once was. These lesions are what doctors look for when diagnosing MS. The loss of protection to nerves mean that those nerves can’t work properly, causing a broad range of symptoms, including numbness, loss of vision, tremors and spasms.
Q2: Are There Different Types of MS?
A3: Every patient will have a different experience with MS as symptoms vary wildly in severity and nature. However, there are four primary types of multiple sclerosis: relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, primary-progressive and progressive-relapsing.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common type of MS, affecting about 85% of MS sufferers when they are first diagnosed. People with RRMS experience periods of remission which are punctuated by relapses, where new symptoms appear.
Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS) is characterized by a gradual worsening of symptoms, with or without relapses and remission. It is usual for patients who have been diagnosed with RRMS to be diagnosed with SPMS at some stage.
Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS), affects about 10% of MS sufferers. Patients with PPMS experience a slow progressive degeneration of nerves, without the presence of remission or relapses.
Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS) is the least common form of MS and involves steady deterioration of symptoms alongside acute relapses and no remission.
Q4: Why is MS known as the “Silent Disease”?
A5: Sometimes multiple sclerosis is referred to as the “silent disease” or “invisible disability”. This is because you can’t necessarily tell that someone has MS by looking at them. Many of the symptoms of MS, such as sensory problems, chronic pain, blurred vision and cognitive problems are not visible. MS is also given these titles because even during periods of remission, when the condition doesn’t appear to be progressing, the disease continues to affect the nerves.
Q5: How Can Stem Cell Application Help People With MS?
A5: Stem cells are cells that can reproduce to turn into any cell in the body, to repair or replace damaged cells. The healing power of stem cells can be used to repair the damage caused by MS to the brain and spinal cord by stimulating regrowth of myelin, to protect nerves from further damage. Stem cells can also help to correct the immune system, preventing it from further attacks on myelin and preventing further nerve damage from being caused by the disease.
By using stem cells it is possible to halt, or even reverse, the progression of MS. At Stem Cell Application Mexico we have treated patients using the Adult Autologous Stem Cell Application Program, a treatment program that uses a patient’s own stem cells. This is a low risk procedure, as there is very little possibility of the stem cells being rejected by the patient’s body. We have successfully treated a range of conditions that can be treated using stem cells, including COPD, heart conditions and joint conditions using stem cell application and are proud to be at the forefront of this fast growing and exciting field of medicine.
As with all chronic diseases, the earlier MS is treated using stem cell application, the better the outcome is likely to be, as there is less existing damage to repair. If you would like to know more about treating MS with stem cell application, get in touch today for a free consultation.