Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects the nervous system. Nerves are coated in a protective covering called myelin. People with MS experience deterioration of the myelin. Nerves may function abnormally when the myelin is damaged. A number of unpredictable symptoms may result, including:
- pain, tingling, or burning sensations throughout the body
- vision problems
- mobility difficulties
- muscle spasms or stiffness
- slurred speech
- impaired memory and cognitive function
Years of dedicated research have led to new treatments for MS. Although there is still no cure for the disease, drug regimens and behavioral therapy allow people with MS to lead healthier, more productive lives.
Part 2 of 8: Purpose of Treatments
There is presently no cure for MS. However, many treatment options are available that can help manage the course and symptoms of this chronic disease. Treatment can help:
- slow the progression of MS
- minimize symptoms during exacerbations or flares
- improve physical and mental function
Treatment in the form of support groups or talk therapy can also provide emotional support for people living with the challenges of this chronic illness.
Part 3 of 8: Teriflunomide
Changing the course of the disease is a primary goal of multiple sclerosis treatment. Drugs that do this are called disease-modifying medications. In 2012, the oral drug teriflunomide (Aubagio) was approved for use in MS patients.