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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Uhthoff's Phenomenon: Understanding Overheating with Multiple Sclerosis

                                                                  

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Some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) can feel their symptoms worsen when they become overheated. When elevated body temperature impairs vision, it’s called Uhthoff’s phenomenon. Uhthoff’s occurs because of damage to the optic nerve, which interferes with the transmission of signals between the eye and the brain. Symptoms include blurry or reduced vision.
Uhthoff’s phenomenon is often one of the first signs of MS. Sometimes called “Uhthoff’s syndrome” or “Uhthoff’s sign,” the condition is named for William Uhthoff (1853-1927), a German professor of ophthalmology.

How Heat Affects MS

2011 Swedish study reported that between 60 and 80 percent of people with MS experience heat sensitivity. Demyelinated fibers in the CNS are hyper sensitive to a rise in body temperature, making it even more difficult for the body to receive internal signals. This can result in worsening of any MS-related symptoms, the most common of which is blurred vision.
The good news is that heat sensitivity and its related worsening of MS symptoms is only temporary (pseudo-exacerbation). It doesn’t mean you have new lesions, that you’re experiencing lasting neurological damage, or that your MS is progressing more rapidly.
Read more on Heat and MS by clicking here





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