When a person you love is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you may not know how to handle the situation. This chronic neurological disease in which a person's own immune system attacks the nerves in their body can be confusing to understand, and the lack of a cure can be disheartening. However, while there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, there are treatment options available and research being done to find better ways of combating this disorder. Get to know some of the treatment options that are available for your loved one so that you can prepare yourself for what is to come and provide your loved one with the support they will need from you.
Infusion treatments is a way to get medications directly into the bloodstream so they act faster and are more potent than they would be otherwise. For multiple sclerosis, there are different medications that your loved one's doctor may prescribe and some have to be introduced into the body intravenously (through an IV) or as an injection to be effective.
These infusion treatments for multiple sclerosis are relatively new and are designed to modify the way the disorder functions inside the body rather than to just treat symptoms of the disorder as they occur. This therapy is also referred to as disease modifying therapy (DMT) and will prevent the disease from progressing as well as prevent future flare-ups as much as possible.
These drugs are administered by your loved one's doctor on a regular schedule (usually every month to every few months), and can vastly improve your loved one's quality of life and keep their discomfort and disease progress to a minimum.
Stem Cell Transplants and Chemotherapy
Currently, a new form of treatment for multiple sclerosis is being tested in various countries around the globe. This treatment program takes medical interventions that are used to treat cancer and are applying them to multiple sclerosis.
The first step is to harvest stem cells from the patient. These stem cells are not affected by multiple sclerosis because they are not fully formed cells. After the doctor harvests the stem cells, the immune system is treated with chemotherapy.
The chemotherapy drugs target and destroy the immune cells that are malfunctioning and attacking the nerves in the body. Then, the stem cells are implanted back into the body and the immune system basically starts over at square one. While this treatment is still in clinical trials, it shows promise for not only preventing the disease from progressing but also can reverse the progress.
Now that you know a few of the possible treatment options for multiple sclerosis, you can be sure that you are providing your loved one with the support that they need. For more information, contact a health care clinic like Idaho Arthritis Center.