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Multiple Sclerosis Glossary of Terms and Relevant Related Information

We will do our best to list words, medical terms and slang that are commonly used when dealing with Multiple Sclerosis, they are in alphabetical order so you can find them easier and they will encompass all things MS.
This will take me some time to compile, so keep checking back for more terms that are added, also bear in mind that most of the "More Information at Wikipedia" links, link to information about the actual term and Wikipedia is subject to change and editing, so don't shoot the messenger if something is incorrect on the page that is linked to, I'll also link to MS Society web sites for "More Information", if unsure do some further research at other sources of information
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Pseudo Tags: glossary, medical terms, definitions, what is, descriptions, glossaire, types, history, symptoms,
Showing 92 items
TermDefinitionMore Information Link
TermDefinitionMore Information Link
Ataxia Ataxia is a neurological sign consisting of lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements. Ataxia is a non-specific clinical manifestation implying dysfunction of the parts of the nervous system that coordinate movement, such as the cerebellum. Several possible causes exist for these patterns of neurological dysfunction. The term "dystaxia" is a rarely used synonym. More Information at Wikipedia 
Augustus d'Este Augustus d'Este is the earliest recorded person for whom a definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can be made. The course of his MS, which was not diagnosed during his lifetime, is known from the diaries he kept. D'Este left a detailed diary describing his 22 years living with the disease. He began his diary in 1822 and it had its last entry in 1846; only to remain unknown until 1948. His symptoms began at age 28 with a sudden transient visual loss after the funeral of a friend. During the course of his disease he developed weakness of the legs, clumsiness of the hands, numbness, dizziness, bladder disturbances, and erectile dysfunction. By 1843 he was experiencing persistent symptoms including tremor and nocturnal spasms, and in 1844 he began to use a wheelchair. In his last years he was confined to his bed. Despite his illness, he kept an optimistic view of life. More Information at Wikipedia 
Avonex (Interferon Beta-1a) Interferon beta-1a (also interferon beta 1-alpha) is a cytokine in the interferon family used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). It is produced by mammalian cells, while interferon beta-1b is produced in modified E. coli. Some claims have been made that Interferons produce about an 18–38% reduction in the rate of MS relapses. Interferon beta has not been shown to slow the advance of disability. Interferons are not a cure for MS (there is no cure); the claim is that interferons may slow the progress of the disease if started early and continued for the duration of the disease. More Information at Wikipedia 
Axon An axon (from Greek, axis) also known as a nerve fibre; is a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that typically conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron's cell body. The function of the axon is to transmit information to different neurons, muscles and glands. In certain sensory neurons (pseudounipolar neurons), such as those for touch and warmth, the electrical impulse travels along an axon from the periphery to the cell body, and from the cell body to the spinal cord along another branch of the same axon. Axon dysfunction causes many inherited and acquired neurological disorders which can affect both the peripheral and central neurons. More Information at Wikipedia 
Balo Concentric Sclerosis is a demyelinating disease similar to standard multiple sclerosis, but with the particularity that the demyelinated tissues form concentric layers. Scientists used to believe that the prognosis was similar to Marburg multiple sclerosis, but now they know that patients can survive, or even have spontaneous remission and asymptomatic cases. More Information at Wikipedia 
Betaferon - Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1b) BETASERON® (interferon beta-1b) is a prescription medicine used to reduce the number of relapses in people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This includes people who have had their first symptoms of multiple sclerosis and have an MRI consistent with multiple sclerosis. BETASERON will not cure MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease. More Information Here! 
Blood–Brain Barrier The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a separation of circulating blood from the brain extracellular fluid (BECF) in the central nervous system (CNS). It occurs along all capillaries and consists of tight junctions around the capillaries that do not exist in normal circulation. Endothelial cells restrict the diffusion of microscopic objects (e.g., bacteria) and large or hydrophilic molecules into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), while allowing the diffusion of small hydrophobic molecules (O2, CO2, hormones). Cells of the barrier actively transport metabolic products such as glucose across the barrier with specific proteins. This barrier also includes a thick basement membrane and astrocytic endfeet. More Information at Wikipedia 
Botox Botox is used to treat upper limb spasticity in adults, to relieve increased muscle tone in elbow flexors (biceps), wrist flexors, and finger flexors, including thumb flexor muscles. Upper limb spasticity can occur in MS as well as other disorders. Also it can be used to treat urinary incontinence resulting from overactivity of the bladder detrusor muscle caused by MS or other neurologic condition, in adults who have an inadequate response to anticholinergic medications or are unable to tolerate them. More Information at US MS Society 
Central Nervous System (CNS) The central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the nervous system that integrates the information that it receives from, and coordinates the activity of, all parts of the bodies of bilaterian animals, that is, all multicellular animals except radially symmetric animals such as sponges and jellyfish. It contains the majority of the nervous system and consists of the brain and the spinal cord. Some classifications also include the retina and the cranial nerves in the CNS. Together with the peripheral nervous system, it has a fundamental role in the control of behavior. The CNS is contained within the dorsal cavity, with the brain in the cranial cavity and the spinal cord in the spinal cavity. In vertebrates, the brain is protected by the skull, while the spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, and both are enclosed in the meninges. More Information at Wikipedia 
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear colorless bodily fluid produced in the choroid plexus of the brain. It acts as a cushion or buffer for the cortex, providing a basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull and serves a vital function in cerebral autoregulation of cerebral blood flow. The CSF occupies the subarachnoid space (the space between the arachnoid mater and the pia mater) and the ventricular system around and inside the brain and spinal cord. It constitutes the content of the ventricles, cisterns, and sulci of the brain, as well as the central canal of the spinal cord. More Information at Wikipedia 
Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) A clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) is an individual's first neurological episode, caused by inflammation or demyelination of nerve tissue. An episode may be monofocal, in which symptoms present at a single site in the central nervous system, or multifocal, in which multiple sites exhibit symptoms. More Information at Wikipedia 
Clonus Clonus (from the Greek for "violent, confused motion") is a series of involuntary, rhythmic, muscular contractions and relaxations. Clonus is a sign of certain neurological conditions, particularly associated with upper motor neuron lesions involving descending motor pathways, and in many cases is, accompanied by spasticity (another form of hyperexcitability). Unlike small, spontaneous twitches known as fasciculations (usually caused by lower motor neuron pathology), clonus causes large motions that are usually initiated by a reflex. Studies have shown clonus beat frequency to range from 3–8 Hz on average, and may last a few seconds to several minutes depending on the patient’s condition. More Information at Wikipedia 
Cognition Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses." It encompasses processes such as knowledge, attention, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and "computation", problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language, etc. Human cognition is conscious and unconscious, concrete or abstract, as well as intuitive (like knowledge of a language) and conceptual (like a model of a language). Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge. More Information at Wikipedia 
Cognitive Deficit Cognitive deficit or cognitive impairment is an inclusive term to describe any characteristic that acts as a barrier to the cognition process. The term may describe deficits in global intellectual performance, such as mental retardation, it may describe specific deficits in cognitive abilities (learning disorders, dyslexia), or it may describe drug-induced cognitive/memory impairment, such as that seen with alcohol and the benzodiazepines. Cognitive deficits may be congenital or caused by environmental factors such as brain injuries, neurological disorders, or mental illness. More Information at Wikipedia 
Comorbidity In medicine, comorbidity is the presence of one or more additional disorders (or diseases) co-occurring with a primary disease or disorder; or the effect of such additional disorders or diseases. The additional disorder may also be a behavioural or mental disorder. More Information at Wikipedia 
Copaxone (Glatiramer Acetate) Glatiramer acetate (also known as Copolymer 1, Cop-1, or Copaxone - as marketed by Teva Pharmaceuticals) is an immunomodulator drug currently used to treat multiple sclerosis. It is a random polymer of four amino acids found in myelin basic protein, namely glutamic acid, lysine, alanine, and tyrosine, and may work as a decoy for the immune system. Glatiramer acetate is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for reducing the frequency of relapses, but not for reducing the progression of disability. Observational studies, but not randomized controlled trials, suggest that it may reduce progression of disability. More Information at Wikipedia 
Cytokine Cytokines (cyto, from Greek "κύτταρο" kyttaro "cell" + kines, from Greek "κίνηση" kinisi "movement") are a broad and loose category of small proteins (~5–20 kDa) that are important in cell signaling. They are released by cells and affect the behavior of other cells. Cytokines can also be involved in autocrine signaling. Cytokines include chemokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphokines, tumour necrosis factor but generally not hormones or growth factors (despite some overlap in the terminology). Cytokines are produced by a broad range of cells, including immune cells like macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and mast cells, as well as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and various stromal cells; a given cytokine may be produced by more than one type of cell. More Information at Wikipedia 
Diagnostic criteria for MS Medical organizations have created diagnostic criteria to ease and standardize the diagnostic process especially in the first stages of the disease. Schumacher criteria were the first internationally recognized criteria for diagnosis, and introduced concepts still in use, as CDMS (Clinically definite MS). Since then, other diagnosis criteria have been proposed. Among them, Poser criteria and McDonald criteria. Sometimes it has been stated that the only proved diagnosis of MS is autopsy, or occasionally biopsy, where lesions typical of MS can be detected through histopathological techniques, Nevertheless, small lesions are invisible under MRI. Therefore including clinical observations still yield a more accurate MS diagnosis than MRI alone. More Information at Wikipedia 
Diffuse Myelinoclastic Sclerosis sometimes referred to as "Schilder's disease", is a very infrequent neurodegenerative disease that presents clinically as pseudotumoral demyelinating lesions, that make its diagnosis difficult. It usually begins in childhood, affecting children between 5 and 14 years old, but cases in adults are possible. More Information at Wikipedia 
Diplopia Commonly known as double vision, is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, or diagonally (i.e. both vertically and horizontally) in relation to each other. It is usually the result of impaired function of the extraocular muscles (EOMs), where both eyes are still functional but they cannot converge to target the desired object. Problems with EOMs may be due to mechanical problems, disorders of the neuromuscular junction, disorders of the cranial nerves (III, IV, and VI) that stimulate the muscles, and occasionally disorders involving the supranuclear oculomotor pathways or ingestion of toxins. More Information at Wikipedia 
Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT) Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT), the Drugs or Medications used to treat your Multiple Sclerosis. More Information at Medications 
Dysarthria Dysarthria ('dys' meaning abnormal or difficult; 'arthr' meaning articulating) is a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury of the motor component of the motor-speech system and is characterized by poor articulation of phonemes (cf. aphasia: a disorder of the content of language). In other words, it is a condition in which problems occur with the muscles that help one talk; this makes it very difficult to pronounce words. It is unrelated to any problem with understanding cognitive language. Any of the speech subsystems (respiration, phonation, resonance, prosody, and articulation) can be affected, leading to impairments in intelligibility, audibility, naturalness, and efficiency of vocal communication. More Information at Wikipedia 
Dysesthesias Dysesthesias are disagreeable sensations produced by ordinary stimuli. The abnormal sensations are caused by lesions of the peripheral or central sensory pathways, and are described as painful feelings such as burning, wetness, itching, electric shock or pins and needles. Both Lhermitte's sign and painful dysesthesias usually respond well to treatment with carbamazepine, clonazepam or amitriptyline. A related symptom is a pleasant, yet unsettling sensation which has no normal explanation (such as sensation of gentle warmth arising from touch by clothing) More Information at Wilipedia 
Dysphagia Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. Although classified under "symptoms and signs" in ICD-10, the term is sometimes used as a condition in its own right. Sufferers are sometimes unaware of their dysphagia. More Information at Wikipedia 
Dysphonia Dysphonia is the medical term for disorders of the voice: an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs (it is distinct from dysarthria which signifies dysfunction in the muscles needed to produce speech). Thus, dysphonia is a phonation disorder. The dysphonic voice can be hoarse or excessively breathy, harsh, or rough, but some kind of phonation is still possible (contrasted with the more severe aphonia where phonation is impossible). More Information at Wikipedia 
Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs) ESCs can naturally produce every type of cell in the body. iPSCs are engineered to do the same. This is still a controversial and uncertain area of research as both ESCs and iPSCs have the potential to develop into tumours. However, it is widely accepted that in the short to medium term, ESCs and iPSCs will be extremely useful in the laboratory – to identify and test potential drugs before they are tested in clinical trials. More safety testing in laboratories is required before they can begin to be tested as a possible therapy for MS in people. More Information at OzMS 
Epidemiology MS is the most common autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system. As of 2010, the number of people with MS was 2–2.5 million (approximately 30 per 100,000) globally, with rates varying widely in different regions. It is estimated to have resulted in 18,000 deaths that year. In Africa rates are less than 0.5 per 100,000, while they are 2.8 per 100,000 in South East Asia, 8.3 per 100,000 in the Americas, and 80 per 100,000 in Europe. Rates surpass 200 per 100,000 in certain populations of Northern European descent. The number of new cases that develop per year is about 2.5 per 100,000. More Information at Wikipedia 
Epstein Barr Virus The Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), also called human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), is a virus of the herpes family, and is one of the most common viruses in humans. It is best known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever). It is also associated with particular forms of cancer, such as Hodgkin's lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and conditions associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), such as hairy leukoplakia and central nervous system lymphomas. There is evidence that infection with the virus is associated with a higher risk of certain autoimmune diseases, especially dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. More Information at Wikipedia 
Exacerbation - Relapse An exacerbation of MS (also known as a relapse, attack or flare-up) causes new symptoms or the worsening of old symptoms. It can be very mild, or severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and at work. No two exacerbations are alike, and symptoms vary from person to person and from one exacerbation to another. For example, the exacerbation might be an episode of optic neuritis (caused by inflammation of the optic nerve that impairs vision), or problems with balance or severe fatigue. Some relapses produce only one symptom (related to inflammation in a single area of the central nervous system) while other relapses causes two or symptoms at the same time (related to inflammation in more than one area of the central nervous system). To be a true exacerbation, the attack must last at least 24 hours and be separated from the previous attack by at least 30 days. Most exacerbations last from a few days to several weeks or even months. More Information at US MS Society 
Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) The Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is a method of quantifying disability in multiple sclerosis. The EDSS quantifies disability in eight Functional Systems (FS) and allows neurologists to assign a Functional System Score (FSS) in each of these. More Information at Wikipedia 
Fatigue Fatigue (also called exhaustion, tiredness, lethargy, languidness, languor, lassitude, and listlessness) is a subjective feeling of tiredness which is distinct from weakness, and has a gradual onset. Unlike weakness, fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest. Fatigue can have physical or mental causes. More Information at Wikipedia 
Fecal Incontinence Fecal incontinence (FI), also called faecal incontinence, bowel incontinence or anal incontinence, is a lack of control over defecation, leading to involuntary loss of bowel contents,including flatus, liquid stool elements and mucus, or solid feces. FI is a sign or a symptom, not a diagnosis. Incontinence can result from different causes and might occur with either constipation or diarrhea. Continence is maintained by several inter-related factors, and usually there is more than one deficiency of these mechanisms for incontinence to develop. More Information at Wikipedia 
Foot Drop Foot drop is a gait abnormality in which the dropping of the forefoot happens due to weakness, irritation or damage to the common fibular nerve including the sciatic nerve, or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg. It is usually a symptom of a greater problem, not a disease in itself. It is characterized by inability or impaired ability to raise the toes or raise the foot from the ankle (dorsiflexion). Foot drop may be temporary or permanent, depending on the extent of muscle weakness or paralysis and it can occur in one or both feet. In walking, the raised leg is slightly bent at the knee to prevent the foot from dragging along the ground. Foot drop can be caused by nerve damage alone or by muscle or spinal cord trauma, abnormal anatomy, toxins or disease. Diseases that can cause foot drop include stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), muscular dystrophy, Charcot Marie Tooth disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, hereditary spastic paraplegia and Friedreich's ataxia. It may also occur as a result of hip replacement surgery or knee ligament reconstruction surgery. More Information at Wikipedia 
Gait A manner of walking, stepping, or running. More Information at Wikipedia 
Haematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) These are adult stem cells, found in bone marrow and blood. They are capable of producing all of the cells that make the blood and the immune system. They are already used to treat leukaemia, lymphoma and several inherited blood disorders. HSCs are being trialled in highly active forms of MS, where it is thought they may help prevent damage to myelin by altering how the immune system functions (‘immunomodulation’). More Information at OzMS 
Hot Bath Test For many years, the “hot bath” test was used to diagnose MS. A person suspected of having MS was immersed in a hot tub of water. The appearance of neurologic symptoms or their worsening was taken as evidence the person had MS. More Information at US MS Society 
Hypoesthesia Hypoesthesia (or hypesthesia) refers to a reduced sense of touch or sensation, or a partial loss of sensitivity to sensory stimuli. More Information at Wikipedia 
Immune System The immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism's own healthy tissue. More Information at Wikipedia 
Immunosuppressive Drug Immunosuppressive drugs or immunosuppressive agents or antirejection medications are drugs that inhibit or prevent activity of the immune system. More Information at Wikipedia 
Intramuscular Injection Intramuscular (or IM) injection is the injection of a substance directly into a muscle. In medicine, it is one of several alternative methods for the administration of medications (see route of administration). It is used for particular forms of medication that are administered in small amounts. Depending on the chemical properties of the drug, the medication may either be absorbed fairly quickly or more gradually. Intramuscular injections are often given in the deltoid muscle of the arm, the vastus lateralis muscle of the leg, and the ventrogluteal and dorsogluteal muscles of the buttocks. More Information at Wikipedia 
Intrathecal Pump An intrathecal pump is a medical device used to deliver very small quantities of medications directly to a patient's spinal fluid. Medications such as baclofen, morphine, or ziconotide may be delivered in this manner to minimize the side effects often associated with the higher dosages commonly found in oral medications of the same type. More Information at Wikipedia 
Intravenous Therapy Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. The word intravenous simply means "within a vein". Therapies administered intravenously are often called specialty pharmaceuticals. It is commonly referred to as a drip because many systems of administration employ a drip chamber, which prevents air from entering the blood stream (air embolism), and allows an estimation of flow rate. More Information at Wikipedia 
Itch (Neuropathic) Neuropathic itch can originate at any point along the afferent pathway as a result of damage of the nervous system. They could include diseases or disorders in the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system. Examples of neuropathic itch in origin are notalgia paresthetica, brachioradial pruritus, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, and nerve irritation. More Information at Wikipedia 
Jean-Martin Charcot Charcot's primary focus was neurology. He named and was the first to describe multiple sclerosis. Summarizing previous reports and adding his own clinical and pathological observations, Charcot called the disease sclerose en plaques. The three signs of Multiple sclerosis now known as Charcot's triad 1 are nystagmus, intention tremor, and telegraphic speech, though these are not unique to MS. More Information at Wikipedia 
John Cunningham Virus (JCV) The JC virus or John Cunningham virus (JCV, not to be confused with Jamestown Canyon virus that bears the same initials) is a type of human polyomavirus (formerly known as papovavirus) and is genetically similar to BK virus and SV40. It was identified by electron microscopy in 1965 by ZuRhein and Chou, and by Silverman and Rubinstein, and later isolated in culture and named using the two initials of a patient, John Cunningham, with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The virus causes PML and other diseases only in cases of immunodeficiency, as in AIDS or during treatment with drugs intended to induce a state of immunosuppression (e.g. organ transplant patients). More Information at Wikipedia 
Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab) In 2008 early tests at Cambridge University suggest that alemtuzumab might be useful in treating and even reversing the effects of multiple sclerosis. Promising results were reported in 2011 from a phase III trial against interferon beta 1a. More Information at Wikipedia 
Lesions The name multiple sclerosis refers to the scars (sclerae – better known as plaques or lesions) that form in the nervous system. MS lesions most commonly involve white matter areas close to the ventricles of the cerebellum, brain stem, basal ganglia and spinal cord; and the optic nerve. The function of white matter cells is to carry signals between grey matter areas, where the processing is done, and the rest of the body. The peripheral nervous system is rarely involved. More Information at Wikipedia 
Lhermitte's sign Lhermitte's sign, sometimes called the Barber Chair phenomenon, is an electrical sensation that runs down the back and into the limbs. In many patients, it is elicited by bending the head forward. It can also be evoked when a practitioner pounds on the posterior cervical spine while the neck is flexed; this is caused by involvement of the posterior columns. More Information at Wikipedia 
Lumbar puncture A lumbar puncture (or LP, and colloquially known as a spinal tap) is a diagnostic and at times therapeutic procedure that is performed to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for biochemical, microbiological, and cytological analysis, or very rarely as a treatment ("therapeutic lumbar puncture") to relieve increased intracranial pressure. More Information at Wikipedia 
Lymphocyte (T Cells and B Cells) T cells (thymus cells) and B cells (bone marrow- or bursa-derived cells) are the major cellular components of the adaptive immune response. T cells are involved in cell-mediated immunity, whereas B cells are primarily responsible for humoral immunity (relating to antibodies). The function of T cells and B cells is to recognize specific “non-self” antigens, during a process known as antigen presentation. Once they have identified an invader, the cells generate specific responses that are tailored to maximally eliminate specific pathogens or pathogen-infected cells. B cells respond to pathogens by producing large quantities of antibodies which then neutralize foreign objects like bacteria and viruses. In response to pathogens some T cells, called T helper cells, produce cytokines that direct the immune response, while other T cells, called cytotoxic T cells, produce toxic granules that contain powerful enzymes which induce the death of pathogen-infected cells. Following activation, B cells and T cells leave a lasting legacy of the antigens they have encountered, in the form of memory cells. Throughout the lifetime of an animal, these memory cells will “remember” each specific pathogen encountered, and are able to mount a strong and rapid response if the pathogen is detected again. More Information at Wikipedia 
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures of the body in detail. MRI makes use of the property of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to image nuclei of atoms inside the body. MRI can create more detailed images of the human body than possible with X-rays. More Information at Wikipedia 
Marburg Multiple Sclerosis (Currently, Marburg MS is considered a synonym for Tumefactive MS) also known as fulminant multiple sclerosis, is considered one of the multiple sclerosis borderline diseases, which is a collection of diseases classified by some as MS variants and by others as different diseases. Other diseases in this group are Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), Balo concentric sclerosis, and Schilder's disease. The graver course is one form of malignant multiple sclerosis, with patients who reaching a significant level of disability in less than 5 years from their first symptoms, often in a matter of months. More Information at Wikipedia 
McDonald Criteria The McDonald criteria are diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis (MS). These criteria are named after neurologist W. Ian McDonald. In April 2001, an international panel in association with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) of America recommended revised diagnostic criteria for MS. They discourage the previously used terms such as "clinically definite" and "probable MS", and propose as diagnostic either "MS", "possible MS", or "not MS". They have undergone revisions in 2005 and 2010. More Information at Wikipedia 
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) These are adult stem cells, found in several places in the body including the bone marrow, skin and fat tissue. They produce cells which help other stem cells function properly. MSCs are being trialled for MS. It is thought they may have a positive effect through ‘immunomodulation’ and might also promote the nervous system’s own repair mechanisms to repair damaged myelin (‘remyelination’). More Information at OzMS 
Multiple Sclerosis Also known as "disseminated sclerosis" or "encephalomyelitis disseminata", is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women. It has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot. More Information at Wikipedia 
Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, the myelin sheath, usually around only the axon of a neuron. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is an outgrowth of a type of glial cell. The production of the myelin sheath is called myelination. In humans, the production of myelin begins in the 14th week of fetal development, although little myelin exists in the brain at the time of birth. During infancy, myelination occurs quickly and continues through the adolescent stages of life. More Information at Wikipedia 
Myokymia Myokymia is commonly used to describe an involuntary eyelid muscle contraction, typically involving the lower eyelid or less often the upper eyelid. It occurs in normal individuals and typically starts and disappears spontaneously. However, it can sometimes last up to three weeks. Since the condition typically resolves itself, medical professionals do not consider it to be serious or a cause for concern. In contrast, Facial myokymia is a fine rippling of muscles on one side of the face and may reflect an underlying tumor in the brainstem (typically a brainstem glioma), loss of myelin in the brainstem (associated with multiple sclerosis) or in the recovery stage of Guillain–Barré syndrome, an inflammatory polyneuropathy that may affect the facial nerve. More Information at Wikipedia 
NEDA no evidence of disease activity; i.e. no clinical relapses, no disease progression and no new or enlarging lesions on MRI and no Gd-enhancing lesions on MRI. Explanation from MSR 
Neural Stem Cells (NSCs) These are the cells responsible for repairing myelin in the brain, but when someone has MS, their NSCs don’t seem to function properly – they don’t ‘turn on’ to repair the damage that has occurred. There are two approaches that might be able to correct this. One is to give drugs that make the NSCs already present work more effectively. The other is to transplant new cells that will repair the damage that the resident brain stem cells cannot.NSCs are likely to be trialled for MS soon. It is believed that NSCs can have an effect through immunomodulation and a direct effect on remyelination. NSCs occur naturally in the brain, but because of the difficulty in harvesting cells from the brain, foetal stem cells are used in clinical trials. More Information at OzMS 
Neuroimmunology Neuroimmunology is a field combining neuroscience, the study of the nervous system, and immunology, the study of the immune system. Neuroimmunologists seek to better understand the interactions of these two complex systems during development, homeostasis, and response to injuries. A long-term goal of this rapidly developing research area is to further develop our understanding of the pathology of certain neurological diseases, some of which have no clear etiology. In doing so, neuroimmunology contributes to development of new pharmacological treatments for several neurological conditions. Many types of interactions involve both the nervous and immune systems including but not limited to the physiological functioning of the two systems in both health and disease, malfunction of either and or both systems that leads to disorders, and the physical, chemical, and environmental stressors that affect the two systems on a daily basis. More Information at Wikipedia 
Neuromyelitis Optica (Devic's Disease, Devic's Syndrome) is an autoimmune, inflammatory disorder in which a person's own immune system attacks the optic nerves and spinal cord. This produces an inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and the spinal cord (myelitis). Although inflammation may also affect the brain, the lesions are different from those observed in the related condition, multiple sclerosis. Spinal cord lesions lead to varying degrees of weakness or paralysis in the legs or arms, loss of sensation (including blindness), and/or bladder and bowel dysfunction. More Information at Wikipedia 
Neuron A neuron (also known as a neurone or nerve cell) is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals. A chemical signal occurs via a synapse, a specialized connection with other cells. Neurons connect to each other to form neural networks. Neurons are the core components of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral ganglia. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord, cause muscle contractions, and affect glands. Interneurons connect neurons to other neurons within the same region of the brain or spinal cord. More Information at Wikipedia 
Neuroplasticity (from neural - pertaining to the nerves and/or brain and plastic - moldable or changeable in structure), also known as brain plasticity, refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how and in which ways the brain changes throughout life. More Information at Wikipedia 
Nystagmus Nystagmus is a condition of involuntary eye movement, acquired in infancy or later in life, that may result in reduced or limited vision. There are two key forms of nystagmus: pathological and physiological, with variations within each type. Nystagmus may be caused by congenital disorders, acquired or central nervous system disorders, toxicity, pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol. Previously considered untreatable, in recent years several pharmaceutical drugs have been identified for treatment of nystagmus. Nystagmus is occasionally associated with vertigo. More Information at Wikipedia 
Ocrelizumab Ocrelizumab is a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, hence a CD20 antagonist. It targets mature B lymphocytes and hence is an immunosuppressive drug candidate. It is under development for multiple sclerosis by Hoffmann–La Roche's subsidiary Genentech, and Biogen Idec. More Information at Wikipedia 
Oligoclonal band Oligoclonal bands are bands of immunoglobulins that are seen when a patient's blood serum, gained from blood plasma, or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is analyzed. Two methods of analysis are possible: (a) protein electrophoresis, a method of analyzing the composition of fluids, also known as "agarose gel electrophoresis/Coomassie Blue staining", and (b) the combination of isoelectric focusing/silver staining. The latter is more sensitive. For the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, a patient has a lumbar puncture performed, which collects some of his or her cerebrospinal fluid. Each of the two to five oligoclonal bands seen by protein electrophoresis represent proteins (or protein fragments) secreted by plasma cells, although why exactly these bands are present, and which proteins these bands represent, has not yet been elucidated. More Information at Wikipedia 
Oligodendrocyte Oligodendrocytes (from Greek, meaning cells with a few branches), or oligodendroglia (Greek, few tree glue), are a type of neuroglia. Their main functions are to provide support and insulation to axons in the central nervous system of some vertebrates, equivalent to the function performed by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. Oligodendrocytes do this by creating the myelin sheath, which is 80% lipid and 20% protein. A single oligodendrocyte can extend its processes to 50 axons, wrapping approximately 1 μm of myelin sheath around each axon; Schwann cells, on the other hand, can wrap around only 1 axon. Each oligodendrocyte forms one segment of myelin for several adjacent axons. More Information at Wikipedia 
Optic Neuritis Optic neuritis is the inflammation of the optic nerve that may cause a complete or partial loss of vision. More Information at Wkipedia 
Paresthesia Paresthesia is a sensation of tickling, tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect. It is more generally known as the feeling of "pins and needles" or of a limb "falling asleep". The manifestation of paresthesia may be transient or chronic. More Information at Wikipedia 
Pathophysiology Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition where the CNS of a person present a special kind of distributed lesions (sclerosis) whose pathophysiology is complex and still under investigation. It is considered a pathological entity by some authors and a clinical entity by some others. From a pathological point of view it can be classified as an encephalomyelitis, and sometimes is known as encephalomyelitis disseminata. More Information at Wikipedia 
Primary Progressive (PPMS) Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) is characterized by steady worsening of neurologic functioning, without any distinct relapses (also called attacks or exacerbations) or periods of remission. A person’s rate of progression may vary over time — with occasional plateaus or temporary improvement — but the progression is continuous.  More Information at US MS Society 
Prognosis The expected future course of the disease depends on the subtype of the disease; the individual's sex, age, and initial symptoms; and the degree of disability the person has. Female sex, relapsing-remitting subtype, optic neuritis or sensory symptoms at onset, few attacks in the initial years and especially early age at onset, are associated with a better course. The average life expectancy is 30 years from the start of the disease, which is 5 to 10 years less than that of unaffected people. Almost 40% of people with MS reach the seventh decade of life. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the deaths are directly related to the consequences of the disease. Suicide is more common, while infections and other complications are especially dangerous for the more disabled. Although most people lose the ability to walk before death, 90% are capable of independent walking at 10 years from onset, and 75% at 15 years. More Information at Wikipedia 
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a rare and usually fatal viral disease characterized by progressive damage (-pathy) or inflammation of the white matter (leuko-) of the brain (-encephalo-) at multiple locations (multifocal). It is caused by the JC virus, which is normally present and kept under control by the immune system. JC virus is harmless except in cases of weakened immune systems. In general, PML has a mortality rate of 30–50 percent in the first few months and those who survive can be left with varying degrees of neurological disabilities. More Information at Wikipedia 
Progressive Relapsing (PRMS) Progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS) is the least common of the four disease courses, occurring in approximately five percent of people with MS. Like those with primary-progressive MS (PPMS), people with PRMS experience steadily worsening neurologic function — disease progression — from the very beginning, in addition to occasional relapses like those experienced by people with relapsing-remitting MS. Because PRMS is progressive from onset, it may be initially diagnosed as PPMS, and then subsequently changed to PRMS when a relapse occurs. Although this disease course is progressive from the outset, each person’s symptoms and rate of progression will be different. More Information at US MS Society 
Pseudobulbar Affect Pseudobulbar affect (PBA), emotional lability, labile affect or emotional incontinence refers to a neurologic disorder characterized by involuntary crying or uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing, or other emotional displays. PBA occurs secondary to neurologic disease or brain injury. Patients may find themselves crying uncontrollably at something that is only moderately sad, being unable to stop themselves for several minutes. Episodes may also be mood-incongruent: a patient might laugh uncontrollably when angry or frustrated, for example. More Information at Wikipedia 
Rebif (Interferon Beta-1a) Interferon beta-1a (also interferon beta 1-alpha) is a cytokine in the interferon family used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). It is produced by mammalian cells, while interferon beta-1b is produced in modified E. coli. Some claims have been made that Interferons produce about an 18–38% reduction in the rate of MS relapses. Interferon beta has not been shown to slow the advance of disability. Interferons are not a cure for MS (there is no cure); the claim is that interferons may slow the progress of the disease if started early and continued for the duration of the disease. More Information at Wikipedia 
Relapsing Remitting (RRMS) Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is characterized by clearly defined attacks of worsening neurologic function. These attacks — often called relapses, flare-ups or exacerbations — are followed by partial or complete recovery periods (remissions), during which symptoms improve partially or completely, and there is no apparent progression of disease. RRMS is the most common disease course at the time of diagnosis. Approximately 85 percent of people are initially diagnosed with RRMS, compared to 10-15 percent with progressive forms of the disease.  More Information at US MS Society 
Secondary Progressive (SPMS) The name for secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) comes from the fact that it follows after the relapsing-remitting disease course (RRMS). Of the 85 percent of people who are initially diagnosed with RRMS, most will eventually transition to SPMS, which means that after a period of time in which they experience relapses and remissions, the disease will begin to progress more steadily (although not necessarily more quickly), with or without any relapses (also called attacks or exacerbations).  More Information at US MS Society 
Sexual dysfunction Sexual dysfunction (SD) is one of many symptoms affecting persons with a diagnosis of MS. SD in men encompasses both erectile and ejaculatory disorder. The prevalence of SD in men with MS ranges from 75 to 91%. Erectile dysfunction appears to be the most common form of SD documented in MS. SD may be due to alteration of the ejaculatory reflex which can be affected by neurological conditions such as MS. Sexual dysfunction is also prevalent in female MS patients, typically lack of orgasm, probably related to disordered genital sensation. More Information at Wikipedia 
Spasticity Spasticity is a feature of altered skeletal muscle performance in muscle tone involving hypertonia; it is also referred to as an unusual "tightness", stiffness, and/or "pull" of muscles. The word spasm comes from the Greek word σπασμός (spasmos), meaning "drawing, pulling." More Information at Wikipedia 
Subcutaneous Injection A subcutaneous injection is administered as a bolus into the subcutis, the layer of skin directly below the dermis and epidermis, collectively referred to as the cutis. Subcutaneous injections are highly effective in administering vaccines and medications such as insulin, morphine, diacetylmorphine and goserelin. Subcutaneous, as opposed to intravenous, injection of recreational drugs is referred to as "skin popping." Subcutaneous administration may be abbreviated as SC, SQ, sub-cu, sub-Q or subcut. Subcut is the preferred abbreviation for patient safety. More Information at Wikipedia 
Suprapubic Catheter A suprapubic cystostomy or suprapubic catheter (also known as a vesicostomy or epicystostomy) is a surgically created connection between the urinary bladder and the skin which is used to drain urine from the bladder in individuals with obstruction of normal urinary flow. Urinary flow may be blocked by swelling of the prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy), traumatic disruption of the urethra, congenital defects of the urinary tract, or by obstructions such as kidney stones passed into the urethra, and cancer. It is also a common treatment used among spinal cord injury patients who are unable or unwilling to use intermittent catheterization to empty the bladder, and cannot otherwise void due to detrusor sphincter dyssynergia. More Information at Wkipedia 
Tecfidera (Dimethyl fumarate) Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is the methyl ester of fumaric acid. DMF was initially recognized as a very effective hypoxic cell radiosensitizer. Later, DMF combined with three other fumaric acid esters (FAE) was licensed in Germany as oral therapy for psoriasis (trade name Fumaderm). Other diseases, such as necrobiosis lipoidica, granuloma annulare, and sarcoidosis were also found to respond to treatment with DMF in case reports or small patient series. Phase III clinical trials found that DMF (BG-12) successfully reduced relapse rate and increased time to progression of disability in multiple sclerosis (trade name Tecfidera). More Information at Wikipedia 
Teriflunomide (Aubagio) AUBAGIO works differently than other MS therapies. It is believed to block the reproduction of overactive immune cells (including T- and B-cells) that attack and damage the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS) More Information at Wikipedia 
Tremor A tremor is an involuntary, somewhat rhythmic, muscle contraction and relaxation involving oscillations or twitching movements of one or more body parts. It is the most common of all involuntary movements and can affect the hands, arms, eyes, face, head, vocal folds, trunk, and legs. Most tremors occur in the hands. In some people, a tremor is a symptom of another neurological disorder. A very common tremor is the teeth chattering, usually induced by cold temperatures or by fear. More Information at Wikipedia 
Trigeminal neuralgia Trigeminal neuralgia (or "tic douloureux") is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve that causes episodes of intense pain in the eyes, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, and jaw, affecting 2-4% of MS patients. The episodes of pain occur paroxysmally (suddenly) and the patients describe it as trigger area on the face, so sensitive that touching or even air currents can bring an episode of pain. Usually it is successfully treated with anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, or phenytoin although others such as gabapentin can be used. When drugs are not effective, surgery may be recommended. Glycerol rhizotomy (surgical injection of glycerol into a nerve) has been studied although the beneficial effects and risks in MS patients of the procedures that relieve pressure on the nerve are still under discussion. Examples of systemic involvement include multiple sclerosis or expanding cranial tumor. More Information at Wikipedia 
Tumefactive MS Tumefactive multiple sclerosis is a condition in which the central nervous system of a person has multiple demyelinating lesions with atypical characteristics for those of standard multiple sclerosis (MS). It is called tumefactive as the lesions are "tumor-like" and they mimic tumors clinically, radiologically and sometimes pathologically. These atypical lesion characteristics include a large intracranial lesion of size greater than 2.0 cm with a mass effect, edema and an open ring enhancement. A mass effect is the effect of a mass on its surroundings, for example, exerting pressure on the surrounding brain matter. Edema is the build-up of fluid within the brain tissue. Usually, the ring enhancement is directed toward the cortical surface. More Information at Wikipedia 
Tysabri (Natalizumab) Natalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against the cell adhesion molecule α4-integrin. Natalizumab is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease. It is co-marketed by Biogen Idec and Élan as Tysabri, and was previously named Antegren. Natalizumab is administered by intravenous infusion every 28 days. The drug is believed to work by reducing the ability of inflammatory immune cells to attach to and pass through the cell layers lining the intestines and blood–brain barrier. Natalizumab has proven effective in treating the symptoms of both diseases, preventing relapse, vision loss, cognitive decline and significantly improving quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis, as well as increasing rates of remission and preventing relapse in Crohn's disease. More Information at Wikipedia 
Uhthoff's phenomenon Uhthoff's phenomenon (also known as Uhthoff's syndrome, Uhthoff's sign, and Uhthoff's Symptom) is the worsening of neurologic symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological, demyelinating conditions when the body gets overheated from hot weather, exercise, fever, or saunas and hot tubs. It is possibly due to the effect of increased temperature on nerve conduction. With an increased body temperature, nerve impulses are either blocked or slowed down in a damaged nerve but once the body temperature is normalized, signs and symptoms may disappear or improve. More Information at Wikipedia 
Urinary Incontinence Urinary incontinence (UI), involuntary urination, or enuresis is any involuntary leakage of urine. It can be a common and distressing problem, which may have a profound impact on quality of life. Urinary incontinence almost always results from an underlying treatable medical condition but is under-reported to medical practitioners. More Information at Wkipedia 
Urinary Retention Urinary retention, also known as ischuria, is a lack of ability to urinate. Urinary retention is characterised by poor urinary stream with intermittent flow, straining, a sense of incomplete voiding, and hesitancy (a delay between trying to urinate and the flow actually beginning). As the bladder remains full, it may lead to incontinence, nocturia (need to urinate at night), and high frequency. Acute retention causing complete anuria is a medical emergency, as the bladder can stretch to enormous sizes and possibly tear if not dealt with quickly. If the bladder distends enough it becomes painful. In such case, there might be, suprapubic constant dull aching pain. The increase in bladder pressure can also prevent urine from entering the ureters or even cause urine to pass back up the ureters and get into the kidneys, causing hydronephrosis, and possibly pyonephrosis, kidney failure, and sepsis. A person should go straight to an emergency department or A&E service as soon as possible if unable to urinate with a painfully full bladder. More Information at Wikipedia 
White matter White matter is a component of the central nervous system, in the brain and superficial spinal cord, and consists mostly of glial cells and myelinated axons that transmit signals from one region of the cerebrum to another and between the cerebrum and lower brain centers. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common diseases which affect white matter. In MS lesions, the myelin shield around the axons has been destroyed by inflammation. More Information at Wikipedia 
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