Multiple sclerosis (MS), is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system, launching an attack on its own tissue. Multiple sclerosis can range from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Multiple sclerosis affects balance, coordination, strength, and other body functions to varying degrees, based on severity and form.
Early multiple sclerosis symptoms include weakness, tingling, numbness, fatigue, poor balance, vertigo, and blurred vision. Symptoms often start between ages 20 and 40. As multiple sclerosis progresses, most people with MS have attacks, also called relapses, when the condition gets noticeably worse. They’re usually followed by times of recovery when symptoms improve.
Based on symptoms, tests for multiple sclerosis are as follows:
The causes of multiple sclerosis remain unknown. The disease is especially common in Scotland, Scandinavia, and throughout northern Europe. In the U.S. the prevalence of MS is higher in whites than in other racial groups. Multiple sclerosis may, in part, be inherited (genetics contribute to the increased risk among family members). Siblings of an affected person have a 2 percent to 5 percent risk of developing MS. Some scientists theorize that MS develops because a person is born with a genetic predisposition to react to some environmental agent, which, upon exposure, triggers an autoimmune response.
Disease-modifying therapies are used to treat “relapsing forms” of multiple sclerosis, which include RRMS, as well as progressive forms in those individuals who continue to experience relapses. At the present time, there are no therapies that have been approved to treat PPMS without relapses. Scientists around the world are actively working to find effective treatments for progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is seldom fatal and life expectancy is shortened by only a few months. Concerns about prognosis center primarily on the quality of life and prospects for disability. After 15 years, fewer than 20 percent of those with multiple sclerosis are fully debilitated; another 20 percent may require a wheelchair, or use crutches, or a cane to ambulate; but, fully 60 percent are ambulatory without assistance and some will have little affect at all. In fact, as many as one-third of all patients with multiple sclerosis go through life without any persistent disability, and suffer only intermittent, transient episodes of symptoms.
Approximately 30 percent of those living with multiple sclerosis require a wheelchair, often a power chair due to limited strength and fatigue. Quantum Rehab®, the global leader in individualized power chair solutions, puts an emphasis on mobility technologies specific toward those living with multiple sclerosis. Quantum Power Chairs incorporate power-adjustable seating for user repositioning and comfort; specialty drive controls, including using a single finger or one’s head to operate the power chair; and, a highly-adaptable design to meet an individual’s current and future needs.
Quantum Power Chairs feature the latest advanced technologies to increase the independence of those living with multiple sclerosis. iLevel® seat elevation technology allows a user to operate the power chair at seated or standing height. Bluetooth® is also integrated into Quantum’s Q-Logic 3 electronics, so those with multiple sclerosis can operate much of their environment with the power chair drive control, itself.
In all, Quantum Power Chairs are designed to give those living with multiple sclerosis optimal medical comfort and maximum independence. Please click here for more information on Quantum Power Chair solutions for those living with multiple sclerosis.
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