Multiple Sclerosis

Brain & Spine Specialists

Neurologists & Neurosurgeons located in Panama City, FL

Every year, 10,000 people in the United States receive a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. The neurologists at Brain & Spine Specialists diagnose and treat multiple sclerosis at their comfortable and modern offices in Panama City, Florida. If you have symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your limbs, a tremor, or unusual levels of fatigue, call Brain & Spine Specialists or make an appointment online today.

Multiple Sclerosis Q&A

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your nervous system including your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The immunologic attack causes inflammation and damages your myelin creating scar tissue. Myelin is the fatty substance that coats and insulates your nerves.  

Multiple sclerosis usually develops gradually, and your condition may steadily progress, or it may relapse and remit. If your disease follows a relapsing-remitting course, you have periods when new, and previously experienced symptoms flare up and then subside or disappear. Relapses vary between patients and may last for months or even years.

The precise cause of multiple sclerosis hasn’t been identified yet. However, physicians believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to your risk of developing the condition. Women are more likely than men to develop multiple sclerosis.

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis can cause a range of symptoms that vary in severity between patients. Some of the common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:

  • Numbness and weakness in your limbs, typically affecting just one side of your body at a time
  • Tingling or pain
  • Electric sensations that occur with movements such as leaning your head and neck forward
  • Loss of coordination
  • Unsteady gait
  • Tremors and dizziness
  • Vision disturbances including double vision or partial or complete vision loss in one eye
  • Fatigue

Make an appointment at Brain & Spine Specialists if you experience any of these symptoms.

How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?

Unfortunately, there’s no single test to identify multiple sclerosis. The neurologists at Brain & Spine Specialists use a variety of tests to detect signs of multiple sclerosis and to rule out other conditions that could cause your symptoms. Some of the diagnostics tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • MRI
  • Evoked potential tests to measure the electrical signals in your nervous system
  • Lumbar puncture to test your spinal fluid

Your physician confirms a multiple sclerosis diagnosis when they find two separate areas of damage to your nervous system, evidence that the scar tissue developed on different occasions, and has ruled out all other potential causes of your symptoms.

How is multiple sclerosis managed?

While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, your physician provides customized treatments to relieve your symptoms and prevent your disease from progressing. For example, you may benefit from corticosteroids to reduce inflammation or a disease-modifying medication to slow or stop the worsening of your condition.

Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants as well as medication for the fatigue, pain, and depression that often accompany multiple sclerosis. Physical therapy may help you improve your balance, coordination, and strength.

Call Brain & Spine Specialists or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for multiple sclerosis.