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- Early detection with imaging diagnostic techniques and personalized treatment allow for an improvement in patients' quality of life
- On June 1, the Taulí Auditorium will host a conference on multiple sclerosis aimed at family members and patients
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune and chronic disease of the central nervous system that affects the myelin or white matter of the brain and spinal cord, causing the appearance of sclerotic plaques that prevent the normal functioning of these nerve fibers. The disease is characterized by an inflammatory component, which runs with neurological symptoms in the form of outbreaks, and a more neurodegenerative part that is related to the progression of the disability.
It is a disease that affects three times more women, especially of childbearing age, from 20 to 45 years, the age group that is most frequently diagnosed. It affects 1 in 1.000 people, with an incidence that is increasing due to the increase in diagnostic techniques, advances in the field of diagnostic imaging, especially with magnetic resonance imaging, as well as social awareness of the disease.
At Parc Taulí, 400 patients affected by multiple sclerosis are monitored annually and between 20-30 new cases are diagnosed each year. The referring professionals are doctors Mariona Hervàs and Marta Ros, from the Neurology Service. Dr. Hervàs emphasizes that "patient care is multidisciplinary, with a follow-up visit to neurology every six months, along with the assistance of rehabilitation services, speech therapy, urology and neuropsychology, among others.
At the onset of the disease, the most frequent initial outbreak is optic neuritis (eye pain with loss of vision in one eye) which usually lasts a few days or hours, but there are also patients who begin with sensitive symptoms in one part of the body such as a limb, or with a gait disorder that may be progressive or subacute. Alarm symptoms would be focal neurological (affecting a part of the body, an arm that goes numb, optic neuritis, vertigo) that can take hours or days; it is about symptoms related to outbreaks.
The chronic symptoms they occur in most patients, even if they have few flare-ups, such as sphincter disorder, mood changes, depressive symptoms, anxiety, fatigue, and more disability-related problems such as spasticity also appear and the pain As Dr. Hervàs points out, with current drugs and early diagnosis, the prognosis has changed a lot: "it is a disease with a very wide range of therapeutic options, every year there are new and more personalized drugs, and most of the patients we currently diagnose have a very good quality of life.”
The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is clinical, and the diagnostic test to confirm it is brain and spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging, where the typical lesions of this disease (demyelinating lesions) are seen. Most patients also have a lumbar puncture to analyze the cerebrospinal fluid.
II Jornada del Vallès in multiple sclerosis for patients and relatives
On June 1, the Parc Taulí hosts a conference on multiple sclerosis addressed to patients and relatives, organized by the Neurology Service of Parc Taulí in collaboration with the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa and MútuaTerrassa. The purpose of the meeting is to raise awareness of the disease and to approach the patients and their environment from the medical side and to raise awareness of the impact it has on the quality of life of the affected people.
During the day, aspects such as immunomodulatory treatments, women and multiple sclerosis (fertility, pregnancy and menopause), the vision of the expert patient, sclerosis and cognition and the role of physical rehabilitation in this disease will be addressed.
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