Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. What to Expect?

Question by Lovely Kiki: Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. What to Expect?
A person I know was just diagnosised with MS. The Dr. says the myelin sheath was being attacked. The hospital stay was 4 days (given steroids) but the person was sent home with no meds.

Is this a deadly diagnosis. What should the family expcet from this condition.

Best answer:

Answer by Who’sThatPokemon
Its not deadly, but it usually does shorten a lifespan by up to 10 years. It depends on the type, but the most common type cuases problems for the body anywhere from each month, to each year. Uusually perm. problems.


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2 Responses to “Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. What to Expect?”

  1. Voelven Says:

    No. While a person can die from complications caused by MS, such as an increased risk of pneumonia if a patient becomes bedridden, then MS is not a fatal disease and patients with MS in general have normal lifespans.

    Steroid treatments are standard for active attacks, as the steroids can increase the healing speed (they don’t, however, affect the overall end result). For minor attacks, it is important to weigh up the disadvantages of steroids to the advantages of a possible faster recovery.

    MS affects everyone differently. Some patients with MS will live completely normal lives with little to no issues, whereas others (approx. 15% will end up in a wheelchair or bedridden). Most are somewhere inbetween the two extremes. Because of this, no-one can know what to expect. A rule of thumb is that the progression of the disease the first 5 years after onset is an indication of the overall disease progress, but it is not a hard and fast rule. Dormant MS can suddenly become aggressive and aggressive MS can suddenly go dormant. The not knowing can be one of the hardest things to deal with.

    There are 4 main types of MS. For relapsing-remitting MS there are disease modifying drugs that on average lower the attack rate by a factor 3. The most used are the CRAB drugs (Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, Betaseron), other treatments are Tysabri and in the worst cases chemotheraphy. If the person you know has been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, which is likely since it sounds as if he/she had an attack, then his/her neurologist should be offering a CRAB drug treatment in the near future.

    My advice for now is to take a deep breath, try to calm down and read up as much as possible about MS from reputable sites like the National MS Society:


    This is for two reasons: one, most people’s knowledge about MS comes from the worst case scenarios (those of us with less aggressive MS don’t get that much attention and don’t draw attention to ourselves), and while it is important to relate to the worst case scenario, it is equally important to understand that MS is not a death-sentence or even mean a future involving a wheelchair. When I was first diagnosed, knowledge was the main thing that helped me deal with it and calm down.

    Two. Because if its unpredictable nature, MS is unfortunately one of the diseases that is rife with “quacks” trying to sell miracle cures to the sick and desperate. Most are harmless, except to your wallet, but others can be dangerous, and the newly diagnosed tend to be flooded with well-meaning advice from family and friends who read this and that about the latest miracle cure. Knowledge about MS will help navigate through all this.

    I am sorry that I am not able to provide you with hard and fast answers, but unfortunately that is the nature of MS. All the best to the person you know.

  2. SciFi Says:

    Having an MS attack, then going to the hospital and getting an IV of Steroids, is to deal with that specific attack, no meds are needed to go home with. However, it is then necessary to see a Neurologist that specializes in MS, or go to an MS Treatment Center. After going to one of those they will assist the person in choosing which approved MS medication they wish to start. At that point, they will get a prescrition for the injectible medication they need for their therapy.

    Multiple Sclerosis is not a fatal disease. There are many patients that live very long, even average length lives with MS. It’s the thing about MS that makes it complicated, it’s 100% different for every patient, no one knows what’s going to happen next, there’s no known course to the disease. But it would be to their advantage to start some type of approved MS therapy sooner than later.

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