Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the nerves. It damages the protective layer of myelin that covers nerves in the spine and brain. This damage affects nervous system communication throughout the body.
Find a neurologist at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals who treats multiple sclerosis in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, by calling (702) 616-4900 or using our online tool.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is the result of damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. Myelin is a protective coating like insulation around an electrical wire. In people with MS, the myelin sheaths of nerves in the spine and brain break down in many places. When this happens, the nerves cannot receive or send high-speed impulses (messages) effectively. If the damage becomes severe, the nerves may not be able to transmit impulses at all. This is what causes symptoms, such as problems walking. Symptoms depend on which nerves stop working because they have lost their myelin sheaths.
Researchers do not fully understand what causes MS to develop. They do know it involves the immune system mounting an attack against myelin. It’s unclear exactly how this process starts.
A person’s genetic makeup plays a role in their likelihood of developing the MS. The disease is more common in people with a sibling or parent who has MS. Environmental factors and exposure to certain infections may also affect a person’s risk of developing MS. It is more common among Caucasian females, but occurs in people of any gender or ethnicity.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary between individuals. Everyone experiences MS a little differently.
Because MS blocks or interrupts communication between nerves in the spine and brain, the disease causes symptoms including:
- Tingling sensations
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with memory and thinking
Multiple Sclerosis Treatment at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Doctors focus treatment efforts on improving quality of life by managing symptoms and slowing the progression of myelin sheath damage. MS is an area of intense research. New treatments continue to developed every year.
MS requires comprehensive care from a diverse team of health care providers including:
- Neuropsychologists, who address cognitive issues
- Physical and occupational therapists, to help with muscle weakness, pain, and other symptoms
- Mental health providers
- Other health care professionals, as needed
MS treatments include physical and occupational rehabilitation, treatment of mood and cognitive issues, and medications.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides personalized treatment for people with multiple sclerosis in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.