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Multiple Sclerosis: What You Need to Know

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that can cause varying degrees of disability. Seniors affected by this disease often go undiagnosed.

Some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis can be similar to those of other diseases, normal signs of aging, and common conditions that affect the elderly. As a result, the disease sometimes goes undiagnosed.

Medical practitioners can’t treat a disease if they don’t know someone has it. Since Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be mistaken as something else, it is important for seniors and their caregivers to know what to look for.

(EverydayHealth)

FAQS about Multiple Sclerosis

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Often called MS, Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. The disease affects the myelin sheaths around the nerves, in turn causing problems in the communication system between the brain and the body. The resulting issues can become progressively worse.

What Impact does MS Have?

Since MS affects the nerves, it can cause a wide variety of issues. The problems resulting from MS are often unpredictable. Some cases are mild, others are severe. Many with MS develop impairments such as vision loss, a lack of control over muscles, and cognitive issues.

How is MS Treated?

Although MS cannot yet be cured, it can be managed with treatment. There are several medications that can reduce the progression and effects of MS. Different therapies and rehabilitation options can also improve quality of life for those with the disease.

Common MS Symptoms

  • Fatigue that worsens throughout the day
  • Numbness in the body, face, or legs
  • Tight muscles in spasm
  • Weakness in the muscles, especially the feet
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Cognitive issues like difficulty focusing
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction

(Senior Living)

Diagnosis Options for Those Who May Have MS

The most common symptoms of MS are also symptoms of a large number of other diseases. They are also similar to what people naturally experience as they age. If someone you know exhibits symptoms of MS (especially if they have risk factors like a relative with the disease), it is wise to consult a doctor.

A diagnosis of MS includes a combination of tests and examinations. Common tests include:

  • An MRI to check for lesions in the central nervous system
  • A cerebral spinal fluid analysis to look for oligoclonal bands
  • An Evoked Potential (EP) test to check nervous system response time

(SeniorLiving)

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Ted Wolfendale