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Mar 31, 2021
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Multiple sclerosis: diagnosis and treatment

Multiple sclerosis: diagnosis and treatment

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of young people, which, for reasons unknown to science, is most often found in creative, gifted persons: musicians, writers, artists.

For example, Nikolai Ostrovsky suffered from it, who described in detail all the symptoms of the disease in the protagonist of his book How the Steel Was Tempered.

Until the beginning of this century, this diagnosis meant a sentence: the patient was inevitably waiting for a wheelchair, but 20 years ago, therapy appeared that could stop the progression of the disease. And now, thanks to the development of Russian scientists, patients have the opportunity to stop movement disorders.

But today multiple sclerosis is a common neurological disease in young people. It affects the central nervous system, affecting mainly the sheaths of the nerve fibers in the brain. The patient develops movement disorders, vision begins to drop rapidly, and problems with urination appear. The disease is constantly progressing and in several years turns the patient into a person completely dependent on the people around him. If you do not take any measures, already 10 years after the diagnosis, half of the patients cannot work, after 15 – move independently, after 25 years – even walk with support.

Previously, this diagnosis was considered infrequent, however, when the disease began to be better diagnosed, it turned out that it is quite common: there are about 2.5 million such patients in the world, and at least 200 thousand in Russia.

Of course, such a diagnosis becomes a bolt from the blue for a person who is just starting to live. According to the co-chairman of the All-Russian Union of Public Associations of Patients, President of the All-Russian Public Organization of Disabled People with Multiple Sclerosis, Professor Yan Vlasov, the number of suicide attempts among people with this diagnosis is 5-6 times more than the average:

“Of course, such a diagnosis is a shock for a young man. However, today such patients have every chance of a fulfilling life. For example, in European countries such people live on average as long as healthy people. There were no drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis 20 years ago, but today there are dozens of them. These are medicines that affect the immune system and help stop the progression of the disease. They exist in Russia, and every year we strive to improve the situation of our patients: today, more than 52 thousand people receive innovative therapy at the expense of the state ”.

Professor of the Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Medical Genetics of the Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Education of the Russian National Research Medical University named after V.I. N.I. Pirogov of the Ministry of Health of Russia, Maria Davydovskaya notes that, nevertheless, the problem is not always solved only with the help of drugs. Alas, neurological symptoms that lead to problems with walking continue to ruin patients’ lives. For many years, symptomatic therapy was completely inaccessible in Russia, which nullified such manifestations of the disease. However, the country has finally developed its own drug, which appeared in March. “Such drugs are extremely necessary for people with movement disorders, walking disorders. Naturally, the drug should be available to all patients with a history of impaired motor function, if prescribed by a doctor, ”emphasizes Maria Davydovskaya.

In addition, experts express the hope that the situation with the unavailability of planned hospitalizations for patients with this diagnosis, which arose as a result of the pandemic, will soon be normalized. In addition, the widespread introduction of vaccination, according to Maria Davydovskaya, makes it possible to reverse this trend: “Our patients are actively vaccinated. While it is believed that vaccination is contraindicated for people with autoimmune diseases, this is an outdated view. ”

Arina Petrova.

Photo: ADOBE STOCK

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