Is an active inflammatory disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. It begins in the young adult and often evolves in two periods (evolutionary forms):
– In the first years, often by outbreaks (appearance of new symptoms regressing more or less completely) interspersed with periods of remissions: we speak of remittent forms;
– after a very variable time, or sometimes from the outset especially when the disease occurs at a later age, the evolution is or becomes progressive.
The precise cause of MS remains unknown, it is multifactorial. There is a genetic predisposition (a slightly greater risk for family members of an affected person), but MS is not a hereditary disease. The mechanism leading to the lesions is becoming better known: it is the immune system of the individual that turns against the organism itself (we speak of autoimmune disease). The disease may appear (or outbreaks appear) after immune events (infection, vaccination), trauma, stress but these potential triggers are not causes of the disease itself, including vaccines there are no more sick people in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated ones).
Lesions of the nervous system can result in diversified, isolated or cumulative disorders, extremely variable from one person to another: paralysis, disorders of balance and coordination of movements, muscle contractures, urinary disorders (incontinence) and sexual, pain, visual disturbances, great fatigability which means that the rhythm of the patients affected must be respected (alternating periods of activity and rest, avoid exposure to heat – sun or hot bath – which increases fatigue) . Finally, cognitive or psycho-affective disorders (difficulty of concentration, memory, depression, less control of emotions) are not uncommon, especially after a long evolution. Disability, which associates more or less these elements, is very variable but the repercussions of the disease may be important because of the age of onset of the disease, its impact on family life, work and its unpredictable evolution.
There is still no curative treatment, but a number of treatments are being used or are being tested, with increasing effectiveness in reducing the frequency and intensity of relapses, delaying the transition to phase progressive and onset of disabling symptoms.
Rehabilitation have a central place in the treatment of symptoms, prevention of loss of autonomy and certain complications,improve quality of life.