Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune condition, this means that something goes wrong with the immune system and it mistakenly attacks other healthy parts of the body instead. In the case of MS, it attacks the nervous system of the brain and/ or spinal cord.
The immune system in MS attacks the Myelin Sheath, this is a layer that surrounds and protects the nerves. As a result, this damages and scars the sheath and can affect the underlying nerves. When this happens, the messages travelling along the nerves become slowed or disrupted presenting a wide array of neurological symptoms.
It’s estimated that in the UK, more than 100,000 people receive a diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It’s most commonly seen in people in their 20s and 30s, although it’s important to note that it can develop at any age.
Multiple Sclerosis is a life-long condition that can sometimes lead to serious disability. While there is no cure, there are ways to make the condition more manageable.
Is there a cure for MS?
Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure. The cause of MS is unclear as we don’t yet know why the immune system acts in this way. However, many experts believe it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
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Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
The central nervous system links everything your body does, consequently, this means the symptoms can vary from person to person and the severity of symptoms can also differ patient to patient.
Another important note to highlight is that the symptoms can present differently depending on which part of the central nervous system it effects.
The main symptoms that patients report include:
- Muscle stiffness, spasms and weakness
- Mobility problems
- Bladder and bowel problems
- Difficulty swallowing
- Vision problems
- Speech changes, i.e slurring
- Difficulty with thinking, learning and planning etc
- Depression and anxiety
- Sexual problems
The symptoms of MS are unpredictable. The symptoms can develop and worsen over time, while for other people, they just come and go.
When the symptoms get worse over a period of time, doctors will refer to the MS as “relapses”. While the periods of the symptoms improving and disappearing are “remissions”.
As the symptoms listed above can relate to other conditions, it’s important not to wait for them to get worse before seeing a doctor as early diagnosis can make the condition more manageable.
When it comes to diagnosing MS, this is when it becomes slightly more complicated. Unfortunately, there’s no single test that can positively diagnose it. On top of this, your doctor will need to rule out any other conditions that relate to your symptoms.
In some cases, it’s not always possible to diagnose MS if you’ve only had one “attack” previously. Doctors generally look for a pattern with the “attacks” and diagnosis with confidence is only made once there’s sufficient evidence of at least two separate attacks.
Testing for MS can include one or all of the following:
- – Neurological examination
- – MRI scan
- – Lumbar puncture
- – Blood tests
- – Evoked potential test
Once a diagnosis is made, your neurologist may be able to identify which type of MS you have. However, the type of MS you have can take a few years until you get an accurate diagnosis as your doctor will need to see if your conditions worsen over time.
Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
As there is no cure for MS, treatment involves managing the conditions and reducing the severity of symptoms as much as possible.
Treatment options can vary from person to person as the symptoms are often different. This means there isn’t a generic treatment plan for MS, each case will have its own treatment plan.
MS and CBD studies:
To read more about the effects of CBD and MS, please visit our Research Page.
Multiple Sclerosis and CBD Oil
As the popularity of CBD soars, more and more people are seeing the benefits of managing various conditions.
It’s becoming less of a secret that CBD can have a significant antioxidant and neuroprotective impact on MS. This suggests that it could be a potential treatment for neurological disorders.
As CBD is not yet approved for treatment, we can’t specifically say that it can treat MS. However, many studies and user testimonies have shown promising results for a variety of symptoms.
According to the MS society, one in five people with MS who took part in a survey in 2014 said they used cannabis to help with their symptoms to help with muscle spasms, stiffness and pain.
The effects of CBD on Multiple Sclerosis reported during findings have shown that CBD can slow the neurodegenerative process of MS.
The studies conclude that cannabinoids have involvement in the regulation of the immune system. As a result, research findings noted that CBD can modulate the inflammatory reaction and assist in neurodegeneration.
In one particular study, the cannabinoids demonstrated neuroprotective effects during an animal model of MS. Results showed it reduced the damage to myelin caused from inflammation. Further animal studies found that CBD reduced neurological disability, improved motor coordination and limited the progression of the disease as a whole.