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Multiple Sclerosis Specialist

Tidewater Neurology -  - Neurology

Tidewater Neurology

Neurology Specialists located in West Ashley, Charleston, SC, Mt. Pleasant, SC & Goose Creek, SC

The first signs of multiple sclerosis usually occur in people aged 20-40 years, but the disease can appear at any age. Starting treatment early gives you the best chance to slow down the progression of MS and reduce the damage to your nerves. At Tidewater Neurology, the skilled team has extensive experience helping people with multiple sclerosis manage their pain, maintain mobility, and stay active. Don’t wait to seek comprehensive care. At the first sign of symptoms, schedule an appointment by calling the office in Mt. Pleasant, Goose Creek, or the West Ashley area of Charleston, South Carolina, or using the online booking system.

Multiple Sclerosis Q & A

What causes multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack the nerves in your spinal cord and brain. The attack damages a protective cover around each nerve called the myelin sheath.

As the sheath breaks down, the nerves can’t carry electrical signals from your body. As a result, you may lose control of a number of bodily functions.

Does multiple sclerosis follow the same course?

Multiple sclerosis can follow several courses. The most common course (relapsing-remitting MS) consists of periods of active disease, called exacerbations or relapses, followed by a period of remission. You cycle between these phases, and during active periods, your MS may or may not get worse.

Many people progress from relapsing-remitting MS to secondary progressive MS. In this course, they may have fewer relapses, but their disease progresses, and their symptoms worsen.

Others have a primary progressive MS diagnosis. They never have periods of remission. Instead, their disease worsens from the day of diagnosis.

What symptoms appear if I have multiple sclerosis?

Many people experience eye symptoms first, but MS causes a wide range of symptoms because it depends on which nerves the disease attacks and the extent of the nerve damage:

  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Tremor
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of sexual response
  • Muscle weakness in limbs
  • Difficulty walking (unsteady gait)
  • Electric-shock sensation when bending the neck
  • Incontinence

You may also feel a squeezing sensation around your body.

How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?

Tidewater Neurology diagnoses multiple sclerosis based on your symptoms. However, they also run tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, including:

  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
  • Evoked potential tests
  • Blood tests
  • MRI

An MRI shows lesions on your brain and spinal cord that MS causes.

How is multiple sclerosis treated?

Your treatment focuses on slowing down the progressive nerve damage, relieving your symptoms, and improving your mobility.

Your provider creates a customized treatment plan that may include one of several possible disease-modifying medications. These drugs reduce the frequency and severity of exacerbations and stop the immune system from attacking your nerves.

You may need other medications to ease problems associated with multiple sclerosis, such as muscle stiffness, pain, and insomnia. Your provider also recommends physical therapy, rehabilitation, or occupational therapy to help you maintain mobility and function.

To slow down the nerve damage of multiple sclerosis, call Tidewater Neurology or book an appointment online today.