Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves). Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibers of the central nervous system is a fatty tissue called myelin, which helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses.
The exact cause of MS is unknown but it is believed that myelin is lost (due to genetics, viruses or trauma) leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. These damaged areas are also known as plaques or lesions. Sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged or broken.
Myelin not only protects nerve fibers, but makes their job possible. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various symptoms of MS.
There are four courses or types of Multiple Sclerosis:
Characteristics: Relapsing-Remitting MS is defined by flare-ups which are episodes of worsening neurologic function followed by partial or complete recovery periods (remissions).
Approximately 85% of the people are diagnosed with this most common form of MS.
Characteristics: Primary-Progressive MS is a slow but nearly continuous worsening of their disease from the onset, with no distinct relapses or remissions. This is relatively rare, affecting approximately 10% of the people with MS.
Characteristics: People with Secondary-Progressive MS experience have an initial period of relapsing-remitting disease, followed by a steadily worsening disease course with or without occasional flare-ups.
Frequency: 50% of people with relapsing-remitting MS developed this form of the disease within 10 years of their initial diagnosis.
Characteristics: Progressive-Relapsing MS is a steadily worsening disease from the onset but also have clear acute relapses (attacks or exacerbations), with or without recovery. In contrast to relapsing-remitting MS, the periods between relapses are characterized by continuing disease progression. This is relatively rare, affecting approximately 5% of the people with Multiple Sclerosis.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis may come and go over the course of the disease while others may be more lasting. Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are unpredictable and varied but may include:
- abnormal fatigue
- severe vision problems
- loss of balance, dizzyness and vertigo
- loss of muscle coordination
- difficulty walking
- Pain or numbness
- slurred speech
- bladder problems
Multiple Sclerosis is usually diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50, with three times as many women as men acquiring the disease.
Approximately 400,000 Americans have Multiple Sclerosis, with possibly 10,000 new cases reported each year.
Accessible Design Solutions
Accessible Design & Consulting will conduct a home assessment to ensure that the environment is safe for a person with Multiple Sclerosis. We perform necessary modifications and offer a full-range of products that make independent living in the home a reality.
Typical Accessible Design Solutions for Multiple Sclerosis include:
(direct links to products)
The mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to end the devastating effects of MS.
Founded in 1946, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports more MS research, offers more services for people with MS, provides more professional education programs, and furthers more MS advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
733 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Southern California Chapter
2440 South Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles , CA 90064
Phone: 800.FIGHT MS (800.344.4867)
14 West Valerio St.
Santa Barbara , CA 93101
Orange County Chapter
17500 Red Hill Ave
Ste 240, Irvine, CA 92614
San Diego Chapter
8840 Complex Drive, Suite 130
San Diego , CA 92123-1498
Phone: 1-800-FIGHT MS
Northern California Chapter
150 Grand, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: toll-free: 1-800-FIGHT MS
Accessible Design & Consulting
(310) 215-3332 Office
(310) 417-4096 Fax