MS treatments aim to affect a number of key elements of MS:
- Disability: MS can cause a person to become disabled because it can lead to poor coordination and balance, weakness, muscle stiffness or spasticity, vision changes, or problems with thinking and memory. The Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS) is often used by doctors to rank a patient's degree of disability on a scale of 0 to 10, with lower numbers indicating less severe disability.
- Relapse: With many forms of MS, people experience "relapses," which are periods of time where symptoms suddenly get worse or new symptoms suddenly appear.
- MRI: An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is used to give doctors a picture of a person's brain, which can help them look for brain lesions (areas of the brain that have been damaged by MS). MRI scans offer doctors a tool to diagnose MS and monitor the disease over time.
Not all MS treatments address all of these elements. Learn more about MS treatments.
You can live well with MS. Talk to your doctor about finding a treatment that's right for you.