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MS regular treatments?
claire0207 posted:
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if someone could explain what sort of treatments patients have when they are first diagnosed with MS, and how effective these are seen to be.

My history- About 18 months ago i developed pins and needles in my feet when i woke up in the mornings, now i get numbness, tingling, nerve pain in my left side, mostly my limbs, fairly regularly. I take Neurontin intermittently, when i'm sore i take 900mg which is enough to take my mind off it. I've recently been put on Lyrica (75mg i think?) and so far it's ok. When i'm sore often i have trouble walking, and i've developed weakness in my left side. I have been doing Aquarobics to try to build up the muscle and stay healthy.

I'm going for my first LP next week, I've had several MRIs, with only the most recent showing anything- a small spot on my brain, but my neuro showed it to a lot of people and they decided that because it was a new sequence that i hadn't had, that they weren't too worried. That was Jan this year. All other tests have been fine- extensive blood work, evoked potentials (?) etc show nothing.

There is a suggestion that it could be Transverse Myelitis, though fortunately i've had no issues with continence etc.

Also, with MS, would some kind of slow-onset MS exhibit the symptoms i've had?

Thanks in advance!

hackwriter responded:
Dear Claire,

When we are diagnosed with MS, we immediately start on one of the disease-modifying therapies: Betaseron, Copaxone, Avonex, Rebif, Tysabri, or one of the newer oral therapies such as Gilenya, Aubagio, or most recently, Tecfidera. These therapies can slow the progress of the disease significantly especially when taken early on.

As far as "slow onset MS" is concerned, we each have a different disease course. It isn't unusual for a person to have mild symptoms for years before disability accumulates in significant ways.

Moreover, a suspicion of TM can precede an MS diagnosis. The development of a brain lesion can be the thing that pushes a differential diagnosis from TM to Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), which basically is a strong suspicion of MS without a history of repeated flares. Transverse Myelitis is demyelination of the spinal cord and doesn't involve the brain. It also is not characterized by flares, onset is a one-time only acute inflammatory episode.

Your neuro should keep a close watch on you with clinical exam follow-ups at least every six months and repeat MRIs at least once a year, though not every neuro is going to do that. It's up to the patient to keep a log of her symptoms and to call her doctor if things change.

Aquatherapy is great, it's so much easier to move in the water. I really enjoyed doing that when I had PT. I hope you'll keep that up.


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