Therapy and treatment of multiple sclerosis

Therapy and treatment of multiple sclerosis

There is still no cure for multiple sclerosis, which is why therapy primarily treats the symptoms. The therapy aims to alleviate the symptoms of those affected. This includes making signs of a flare-up go away, slowing the progression of the disease, and preventing complications and long-term disability.

Therapy for multiple sclerosis is based on two pillars: on the one hand, relapse therapy to treat an acute relapse, and on the other hand, therapy that modifies the course, which is intended to reduce the number and severity of relapses.

medication for MS

When and why which active ingredients and medication can help with MS is therefore different:

  • The drugs used in the course-modifying therapy are given prophylactically to reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups in multiple sclerosis. With such a long-term therapy, the immune defence is suppressed. Thus, the autoimmune reaction underlying MS. So-called immune modulators ( interferon, glatiramin acetate) injected into the muscle or under the skin are used for this purpose. If the multiple sclerosis progresses, the next step is to give low-dose cytostatics or immunoglobulins via the vein, which also curb the immune reactions. In the case of a highly active form or if the other immunotherapeutic agents are not effective, fingolimod, siponimod, alemtuzumab, or natalizumab. Also new is the therapy option with ozanimod, which is currently being approved.
  • In an acute flare-up, glucocorticoids such as cortisone are given as an infusion for flare-up therapy. In more severe cases, blood washing (plasmapheresis) is also used.
  • Non-specific complaints such as pain, increased muscle tension (spasticity), bladder or bowel emptying disorders and depression are treated symptomatically with appropriate active ingredients.


Supportive measures in the therapy of MS

Therapy for MS also includes accompanying measures such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy to maintain mobility for as long as possible and to avoid complications such as kidney or pneumonia . Psychotherapy can also help those affected to better cope with life with MS. Cannabinoids or botulinum toxin can also be used to counteract spasticity.

Alternative treatment methods such as certain forms of nutrition, acupuncture, homoeopathy, meditation, relaxation methods or craniosacral therapy can be used alongside MS therapy; however, scientific evidence of its effectiveness is largely lacking.

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