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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Young adults most vulnerable to Multiple Sclerosis

CHANDIGARH: Young adults especially in the age group of 20-30 are the most vulnerable to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) but an early intervention and general awareness can greatly improve the lives of MS Patients. Multiple Sclerosis or MS is an auto immune and progressive disease of the brain and central nervous system in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Dr. Dheraj Khurana, Additional Professor, Department of Neurology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research says,"Being a chronic disease that affects individuals at their prime, the socio- economic burden of MS is huge. The crude prevalence of MS in India stands at 8-9 people per 1, 00,000. It is estimated that the total burden in India is close to 1.8 lakh patients. In the last few years, Chandigarh has seen 3-4 new patients every month." 

Dr. Khurana believes that awareness about Multiple Sclerosis is the need of the hour. Effective treatment and management strategies exist for multiple sclerosis especially when tackled early. In addition to medicines, it is important to stay active and a positive attitude plays an invaluable role to control the symptoms of disease. The first symptoms of MS can be sudden and unexpected. Blurred or double vision, memory problems, lack of coordination, loss of balance, numbness, tingling and weakness in arms or legs are some of the common symptoms. The exact cause of the disease is unknown and it could be a combination of genetics, environmental factors, vitamin deficiency, stress and possibly even a virus to which the person was exposed to early in life. 

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