Spinal Fluid Test May Reveal Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis
Although multiple sclerosis (MS) is mild for some patients, for many it’s debilitating. It can be so severe that it affects vision and makes mobility difficult. For some it may even lead to paralysis. Unfortunately, the cause is not known and there is no cure. But a new study indicates it may be possible to detect early signs of this disabling disease through spinal fluid.
The small study suggests that different parts of the brain than those usually linked to MS may require further investigation. Researchers examined spinal fluid from nine patients diagnosed with MS after showing early signs of it. When compared to spinal fluid in healthy people and those who had the disease for a longer period of time, they found distinguishing protein markers in those with earlier symptoms.
Larger studies would need to be conducted in order to verify the accuracy of spinal fluid testing. If it would prove true, this could allow treatment to begin immediately in those showing signs of MS.
Previous research has shown that myelin (a protective insulation that overlays nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord) is destroyed in the white matter of the brain. But the new findings suggest that gray matter in the brain may also be damaged in those with MS.
Symptoms of MS can vary from one individual to the next, coming and going or remaining constant. Tingling, numbness, bladder/bowel dysfunction, pain, depression and impaired mobility are just some of the symptoms that patients may experience.
As a result, the condition may lead to permanent disability for which benefits could be available. To learn more about disability benefits or for help appealing a denied claim, contact Disability Help Group