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Frequently Asked Questions About Multiple Sclerosis

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7. Which Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Is Best for Me?

Choosing to begin therapy for multiple sclerosis can be a difficult decision to make; learning about your treatment options and discussing them with your doctor is the first step in deciding what treatment to begin. Some other factors to consider are effectiveness, side effects, your current lifestyle, and how the therapy is given. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a wide variety of educational materials that describe the different therapies.

8. How Do People With Multiple Sclerosis Benefit From Deep Brain Stimulation?

The main purpose of deep brain stimulation in those with multiple sclerosis is to control tremor. In the case of MS, other problems such as loss of vision, sensation, or strength are not helped by deep brain stimulation.

9. What Alternative Therapies Are Recommended for Multiple Sclerosis

  • Positive Attitude. Having a positive outlook cannot cure multiple sclerosis, but it can lower your stress and help you feel better.
  • Exercise. Exercises, such as tai chi and yoga can lower your stress, increase relaxation, and increase your energy, balance, and flexibility. As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before getting started.
  • Diet. It is important for people with MS to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet. Ask your doctor what diet is right for you.

 

10. What Is Optic Neuritis?

Optic neuritis is the inflammation of the optic nerve, the nerve located in the back of the eye that transmits light and visual images to the brain. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 55% of people with MS will have an episode of optic neuritis. Frequently, it's the first symptom of the disease. Although having optic neuritis is very suggestive of MS, it does not automatically mean that a person has or will get MS. A positive MRI is associated with the highest risk. Approximately 40% of people with optic neuritis will develop MS.

The symptoms of optic neuritis are the acute onset of any of the following:

  • Pain in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Graying of vision
  • Blindness in one eye

It's rare that both eyes are affected simultaneously. Loss of vision tends to worsen over the course of a few days before getting better. This usually takes about four to 12 weeks. Treatment may include intravenous and/or oral steroids to control the inflammation.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on August 29, 2012
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