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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease affecting the central nervous system. It is more common in women than in men and is normally diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.
When someone has MS, the coating around the nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, meaning signals from the brain and spinal cord have difficulty reaching muscles and limbs. The disease means that body’s immune system mistakes the nerve coating, myelin, for a foreign body and attacks it. There is currently no cure for MS, but some treatments can help the illness, and to manage symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis symptoms
The central nervous system is linked to everything your body does so there are, in turn, a wide variety of symptoms associated with the illness.The symptoms that are present depend on which part of the central nervous system is affected.
Symptoms of MS could include:
Problems with walking, balance and dizziness
Fatigue Vision problems
Difficulties with speech
Problems with memory and thinking
People who have been diagnosed with MS often have a normal life expectancy but in the latter stages of the illness they may benefit from hospice care.
At St Nicholas Hospice Care, we can help people in the latter stages of MS with:
Complementary therapies such as massage, Reiki, Aromatherapy and Acupuncture. These therapies can help with wellbeing, relaxation, coping with anxiety and managing difficult symptoms.
Doctor and nurse-led clinics for outpatients
Visits by hospice nurses or hospice care assistants in your own home
Physiotherapy – to help with mobility and maximise independent living
Occupational therapy – to help with household adjustments to make things easier or with advice and exercises to make daily living more comfortable
Counselling and emotional support – to help with emotional or spiritual guidance
We also have a range of groups and activities where you can meet people in a similar situation or talk to someone in a friendly and informal environment.
If you are not yet known to the Hospice, but think you may benefit from some of the services we have to offer, please get in touch with our First Contact team. For further information about Multiple Sclerosis and how it affects people, please refer to the MS Society website.