Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common chronic inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord. It can lead to clear neurological impediments beginning as early as young adulthood. Symptoms include impaired vision, paralysis, coordination problems, bladder disorders, and dysesthesia. MS is caused by the destruction of the insulating layer (myelin) that surrounds neurons in the spinal cord and brain. Myelin enables electrical signals to pass quickly between the brain and the rest of the body. When the myelin is damaged, signals are sent more slowly and less efficiently. Early detection and treatment along with new therapeutic techniques alleviate the spasmodic symptoms and facilitate the deceleration of the debilitating symptoms.
In addition to MS, there are a large variety of other inflammatory brain and nervous system diseases. If the inflammation is acute and effects the cerebral membrane, viral or bacterial infections may be the cause and require quick treatment. The first symptoms are often headaches and exhaustion.
A Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis is usually determined between the ages of 20 and 40, when corresponding symptoms (optic nerve inflammation, dysesthesia, signs of paralysis, etc.) coupled with typical changes in cerebrospinal fluid appear during MRI and evoked-potential examinations. Other causes of symptons, such as Lyme Disease or other autoimmune illnesses must be ruled out before diagnosis.
There are various courses Multiple Sclerosis can take. As well as a relapsing-remitting course, a chronic, progressive course with and without accompanying attacks can be observed at the onset and later. Treating an acute attack with a high dose Cortisone therapy has proven successful. Currently, it is an accepted practice in early therapy to use an Interferon-β-1a preparation (Avonex) after the first attack and MRI proof of clear inflammation. For relapsing-remitting MS with high inflammation activity, Interferon-β-1b (Betaferon), two Interferon-β-1a preparations (Avonex, Rebif 22/44) and Glatiramer acetate is available for longterm therapy. For a secondary chronic progressive course with acute symptoms, Interferon-β-1b (Betaferon), Interferon-β-1a (Rebif 44) und Mitoxantron (Ralenova) are recommended. Independent from these longterm therapy options is a variety of other treatments for symptoms such as bladder dysfunction, spasticity, painful paresthesia, or eye movement disorders.
We are happy to answer any questions concerning Multiple Sclerosis and other differential diagnoses. Furthermore, the MS Outpatient Clinic will gladly help you with understanding the effectiveness and medical indications as well as possible side effects of your medication. A follow-up is prudent and necessary in order to discuss therapeutic measures early on, so that the course of the illness can be slowed as much as possible. We will also inform you of any new developments in the treatment of MS. Established experience with all available medication is the basis for our objective and comprehensive counseling. In addition, we offer the newest medical/scientific therapeutic approaches. We are ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.
Further information on our current research into multiple sclerosis can be found here.