Stating that the symptoms of MS such as blurred eyes, numbness in the arm or leg, which may come and go, are very important in the diagnosis process, Neurology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan said that people sometimes do not go to the doctor because their complaints go away and that's why the diagnosis can be delayed. He pointed out that when treatment is started late, these attacks can lead to results that can reach disability. Drawing attention to the temporary symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), especially seen in young adults, Neurology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan drew attention to the temporary symptoms of MS and gave important information about the disease.
Pointing out the painful blurred vision, which is one of the symptoms of the disease, Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Neurology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Özcan continued his words as follows:
“MS, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks our own nerve sheaths and perceives it as a foreign substance, affects the brain and spinal cord. Complaints such as vision loss, double vision, instability, speech disorder, urinary incontinence, difficulty walking are among the symptoms. Painful loss of vision or blurred vision in one eye are also typical findings of MS. However, since these symptoms are completely gone in some cases, unfortunately, they may not be considered very important.”
Ignore TEMPORARY COMPLAINTS!
Reminding that MS progresses in the form of attacks and if the complaints last for 24 hours or more, it must be taken into consideration, Assoc. Dr. Özcan said, “It takes 24 hours for us to suspect the symptoms. If this is the case, it is necessary to suspect MS. Sometimes the cloudiness in one eye lasts for more than 24 hours and may go away on its own. Therefore, people do not dwell on it because the complaint is filed. However, this issue needs attention and attention. In order for the diagnosis of MS to be made, the patient should be evaluated by a neurologist.
Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan underlined that patients should pay attention to these temporary complaints and be alert so that the diagnosis of MS can be made without delay.
LATE DIAGNOSIS MAY CAUSE DISABILITY
Pointing out that if patients do not care about the symptoms and do not go to the doctor, there may be a delay in the diagnosis process, Assoc. Dr. Özcan said, “When diagnosed late, lesions in the brain may increase. If treatment is started late, a new attack may occur during this untreated period. These attacks can lead to disability. When treatment is started early, the development of a new attack can be prevented. However, if the person does not go to the doctor, for example, after 1 year, he may experience an attack that causes walking difficulties. Then, when he goes to the doctor, sequelae may remain despite the appropriate treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to start treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent the attacks that will occur as soon as possible and to prevent permanent disability.
COMMUNITY ILLNESS DOESN'T KNOW ENOUGH
Stating that MS is a chronic disease, the psychological burden of the disease is also high, Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan said that the society does not know enough about MS and can label patients. Pointing out that anxiety and depression are very common in MS disease, Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan talked about the subject as follows: “It is thought that plaques in the brain that develop as a result of the disease predispose to depression. Therefore, anxiety and depression are common in MS patients. If patients have these conditions, we get support from a psychiatrist. Because depression and anxiety seriously reduce the patient's quality of life and negatively affect MS treatment. This is how we perform treatments with a multidisciplinary approach.”
IT IS MORE FREQUENTLY SEEN IN YOUNG ADULT AGE
Although the exact cause of MS is not known, Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan said, “It is a disease that is not very common in the society, around 100 out of 8 thousand. It is mostly observed in young adult women between the ages of 20-40. However, genetic transmission in MS is less than in other genetically transmitted diseases. Therefore, it is not obligatory for the first-degree relatives of the MS patient, such as his sibling, mother, child, to undergo routine screening.
Explaining that MS may not be a disease that will cause serious problems if treated correctly, Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan said, “About 20 percent of patients have a benign MS type. They go on with their lives with almost no disability,” he said.
PATIENTS CAN CONCERN, WORK
Advising the patients not to leave their social life, Assoc. Dr. Özcan said, “MS patients can easily get pregnant. However, they should take this decision and plan it with their doctor. We do not want an unplanned pregnancy because we need to adjust the medications accordingly, we stop MS medications during pregnancy except for exceptional cases, but it is necessary to decide in advance when to stop. We especially want patients to be involved in life. MS is not a deadly disease, but it is a chronic disease, we cannot completely eliminate it. It definitely requires treatment, with effective treatment and regular follow-up, the disease can be maintained without serious problems.
TREATMENTS ARE APPLIED TO CHANGE THE PROGRESS OF THE DISEASE
Explaining that they apply treatments that will change the course of the disease, Assoc. Dr. Özcan said, “Our main goals are to slow down or stop the disease. The main treatment is drugs that change the course of this disease. In addition, we apply treatment for the patient's complaints. For example, the patient may have urinary incontinence problems, fatigue and exhaustion may occur, and we provide treatments for them. Another form of treatment is physical therapy. There may be muscle weakness or stiffness in the later stages of the disease, and we definitely want him to receive physical therapy to eliminate them. Thus, the quality of life increases," he said.
DON'T IGNORE ROUTINE CHECKS
Advising the patients not to neglect the doctor's control, especially during the current pandemic period, Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Neurology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Emin Özcan made the following recommendations to patients: “They should go to the hospital by paying attention to their mask, distance and hygiene. It is very important for the treatment not to be interrupted so that the disease does not progress. Regular exercise is very important in the recovery of complaints such as fatigue and weakness that we see especially in MS. We ask patients to walk every day. Because walking difficulties may occur in the later stages of MS disease. They need to walk for 30 minutes every day. But they should be walking at a light pace without tiring themselves. Nutrition is also an important factor. In particular, they should avoid salt and stay away from solid and saturated fats.