Multiple Sclerosis Glossary of terms

Multiple Sclerosis Glossary of terms

This is a lot of copy and paste of words we hear as patients with multiple sclerosis. I got this off of  ms lifelines seen here http://www.mslifelines.com/ms-terms  I wanted to create a quick reference place for some of those terms we hear not only for me, because I forget, but for anyone else who needs it. This is a selected list off of http://www.mslifelines.com/ms-terms ms lifelines.

Ataxia
Lack of coordination and unsteadiness that result from the brain’s failure to regulate the body’s posture and the strength and direction of limb movements. Most often caused by disease activity in the cerebellum or its connections with other parts of the brain.

Autoimmune Disease
Process in which the body’s immune system causes illness by mistakenly attacking healthy cells, organs, or tissues. Multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, as are systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and many others. The precise origin and an understanding of how these diseases occur are not yet well known.

Cog Fog
A feeling of confusion or lack of mental clarity brought on by cognition issues related to MS. This cognitive symptom is common in people with MS and is also known as brain fog.

Cognition
High-level functions carried out by the human brain, including comprehension and use of speech; visual perception and construction; calculation ability; attention (information processing); memory; and executive functions such as planning, problem solving, and self-monitoring.

Combined Bladder Dysfunction
Type of neurogenic bladder dysfunction in MS (also called detrusor-external sphincter dyssynergia—DESD). Simultaneous contractions of the bladder’s detrusor muscle and external sphincter cause urine to be trapped in the bladder, resulting in symptoms of urinary urgency, hesitancy, dribbling, and incontinence.

Demyelination
Destruction of the myelin sheath, which surrounds the “axons” or nerve fibers in the central nervous system, that results in interruptions of communications between neurons. Regions of demyelination cause interruptions in the conduction of nerve impulses.

Diplopia
Double vision or the simultaneous awareness of two images of the same object that results from a failure of the two eyes to work in a coordinated fashion.

Disease-Modifying Drugs (DMD)
Disease-modifying therapies have been shown in clinical trials to modify the course of MS.

Dysesthesia
Impairment of sensitivity, especially to touch.

Exacerbation
In MS, the appearance of new symptoms or the aggravation of old ones, lasting at least twenty-four hours (synonymous with attack, relapse, flare-up, or worsening).

Foot Drop
Condition of weakness in the muscles of the leg caused by poor nerve conduction, which interferes with a person’s ability to extend the ankle and walk with a normal pattern. The toes touch the ground before the heel, causing the person to trip or lose balance.

Incontinence
Also called spontaneous voiding; the inability to retain control of urine or bowel movements.

Interferon
Interferons are a family of naturally occurring proteins that are produced by eukaryotic cells in response to viral infection and other biological inducers. Interferons possess immunomodulatory, antiviral, and antiproliferative biological activities. They exert their biological effects by binding to specific receptors on the surface of cells. Three major groups of interferons have been distinguished: alpha, beta, and gamma.

Interferon beta-1a
Interferon beta that has the same amino acid sequence as that produced naturally by the human body. It is obtained in the laboratory via a biotechnological process: the interferon beta gene is inserted into laboratory-grown mammalian cells, which then produce the protein.

Interferon beta-1b
Interferons belong to a family of proteins that occur naturally in the body, helping to regulate the body’s immune system and fight disease. Interferon beta-1b is obtained in the laboratory via a biotechnological process: the interferon beta gene is inserted into bacteria, which then produce the protein. Its amino acid sequence (or protein) structure is identical to the body’s own natural interferon beta.

Lhermitte’s Sign
Abnormal sensation of electricity or “pins and needles” going down the spine into the arms and legs that occurs when the neck is bent forward.

Marcus Gunn Pupil
An abnormal physical examination finding in the pupil of your eye that may result from an episode of optic neuritis.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Presumed autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that is usually first diagnosed in young adults and whose origin is unknown. It damages myelin (nerve fiber insulation) and axons (nerve fibers) in a random and patchy manner, causing a wide range of neurological defects.

Myelin
Soft, white coating composed of lipids (fats) and protein, surrounding nerve fibers in the central nervous system. A complex natural electrical insulator, myelin serves to speed up the conduction of electrical signals down nerve fibers.

Neuritis
Nerve inflammation, usually with direct nerve damage. Part of a degenerative process.

Nocturia
The need to urinate during the night.

Nystagmus
Rapid, involuntary movements of the eyes in the horizontal or, occasionally, vertical direction.

Optic Neuritis

Inflammation or demyelination of the optic (visual) nerve with temporary or permanent impairment of vision; associated with pain during the acute phase.

Plaque
An area of inflamed or demyelinated central nervous system tissue.

Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)
Clinical course of MS that is characterized from the beginning by progressive disease with no plateaus or remissions, or with an occasional plateau and very short-lived, minor improvements.

Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)/Relapsing MS
Clinical course of MS that is characterized by the occurrence of new symptoms or the worsening of old symptoms (relapses or exacerbations). Symptoms may evolve over several days or weeks and then fully or partially disappear. The pattern of attacks is unpredictable, even in the same person.

Remission
Lessening in the severity of symptoms, or a “return” to the level of health equal or similar to the one experienced prior to the last attack.

Remyelination
Repair of damaged myelin. Some myelin repair may occur spontaneously in MS.

Sclerosis
An abnormal condition in which tissue has become hard, produced by overgrowth of fibrous tissue (scars). The term “multiple sclerosis” refers to multiple scars in the brain.

Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
Clinical course of MS that initially is relapsing MS and then becomes progressive at a variable rate. With SPMS, neurological symptoms worsen progressively. At first, there may still be some relapses; then relapses generally stop completely, and a slow but steady progression of disability takes place.

Spasm
An involuntary and abnormal contraction of muscle.

Spasticity
Increased muscle tone associated with involuntary muscle contractions, spasms, and stiffness. In multiple sclerosis, spasticity is most prominent in the lower limbs.

Trigeminal Neuralgia
Chronic condition that may cause acute pain in the face caused by demyelination of nerve fibers in the trigeminal nerve root (the nerve responsible for relaying feeling/sensation signals to the brain).

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