A multiple sclerosis diagnosis can feel overwhelming, but formulating an effective treatment plan with your physician is paramount. Although there is no definitive cure for multiple sclerosis, thanks to years of hard work and research, there are now many ways to manage the symptoms and possibly slow the progression of the disease.
Treatments to Slow Progression
Treatments that have the potential to slow the progression of MS are known as disease-modifying therapies or DMTs. Available treatments can be categorized based on how they are administered.
Injectable and Oral Medications
Injectable medications are injected either intramuscularly or subcutaneously, whereas oral medications are taken by mouth, usually in pill form. Some of these medications include:
Each of these medications comes with its own set of side effects and contraindications that should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Infusions are typically reserved for more advanced cases and primary-progressive MS cases. These treatments are administered via IV from within a healthcare facility. The frequency of infusions varies depending on what medicine is being used.
For people who have primary-progressive MS, infusions with Ocrevus are the only FDA-approved disease-modifying therapy.
Treatments to Manage Symptoms
The following treatments are not intended to slow the progression of MS but instead are intended to manage the symptoms and make living with MS easier.
Physical therapy can increase strength and mobility to make it easier to perform daily tasks. A physical therapist will teach you several simple stretches that may help alleviate symptoms of MS.
Some people believe making lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting high-quality rest, can relieve some of the symptoms of MS. Unfortunately, there are a lot of conflicting arguments as to what diet is best for managing MS, so you may need to experiment and find what works best for you.
Medicine to Combat Fatigue
Fatigue is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis, even before the significant progression of the disease. Some medications, such as Symmetrel or Provigil, can be prescribed to help reduce the effects of MS-related fatigue and help you regain some of the energy you had before.
Regenerative Medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, is still a relatively new field of research, but the more scientists learn about stem cells, the more stem cell therapy appears to be a promising treatment for managing the symptoms of MS.
Stem cell therapy can modulate the immune system, temporarily disabling the abnormal attacks on myelin tissue. When the immune system is no longer destroying healthy myelin cells surrounding nerve fibers, it can help slow the progression of multiple sclerosis conditions and potentially improve symptoms.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for multiple sclerosis, also known as stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.