There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Treatment aims at delaying disease progression and preventing symptom relapse.
Management of MS involves of a number of healthcare professionals from different specializations who work as a team to help patients with this complex disorder. Some examples of the professionals involved in treating individuals with MS include neurologists, urologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, social workers and nurses.
The treatment of MS is divided into three broad categories:
This involves the prescription of treatments for specific symptoms such as:
These are the main agents used to treat MS relapse. They reduce the inflammation that occurs during an attack and shorten the length of the relapse. They are usually administered intravenously and examples include methlprednisolone and prednisone.
This procedure may be used if a person is nonresponsive to steroids. In plasmapheresis, the blood cells are separated from plasma, mixed with a replacement solution and returned to the blood.
Interferon beta agents are used to slow disease progression in MS and reduce the length and severity of attacks. Examples include avonex, betaseron and rebif.
This drug is given as injections. Glatiramer acetate is thought to block the immune attack of myelin and is administered subcutaneously once a day.
This agent prevents the migration across the bood–brain barrier of certain immune cells that may damage the brain and spinal cord. Natalizumab is given as a monthly injection.