MS patients must watch their symptoms carefully

June 21, 2019

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory neurological disease of the nervous system, which degrades the protective sheath around nerves and causes scar tissue. The brain has a harder time signaling the body and this will later result in mental impairment and physical disability.

MS affects about 2.5 million people worldwide and a few hundred Malaysians, more commonly seen in women than in men.Symptoms of weakness surface between the ages of 19 and 39, with other signs including numbness, tingling, abnormal sensation, mobility problems, vertigo, visual problems and/or pain ranging from mild to severe. MS could also cause emotional instability through clinical depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, bipolar disorders and/or psychosis.

It is imperative for MS patients to know their limitations and talk to their healthcare provider if they are experiencing worse changes in physical abilities. Patients are advised to combine medication with active lifestyle and diet to manage MS comorbidities and symptoms.

Dr. Shanthi Viswanathan, Consultant Neurologist of Malaysia’s Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) thinks many MS patients are misdiagnosed as some symptoms can be vague or similar to other conditions. She says early recognition and treatment with disease modifying treatments (DMT) could prevent relapses or disability progression which would hamper a normal life.

To embolden patients and provide education on MS care, global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi has launched its “World vs. MS” programme, which will also work towards improved and effective treatments. Their first outreach is a patient leaflet, which contains a MS symptoms checklist, to be distributed across hospitals that treat MS .

Quek Wee Ling, Genzyme Business Unit Head, Sanofi (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore)said, “We hope to make this leaflet more accessible to a wider patient base and aim to educate patients as well as their caregivers on how to better manage and understand MS. The public is also urged to seek medical help if they score 4 out of 5 in the MS symptoms checklist available in the patient leaflet.”


Category: Community, Features

Comments are closed.