A Light on Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Osbourne’s MS diagnosis brings more attention to the disease

man walking with cane

Television reality star Jack Osbourne, son of rocker Ozzy, recently revealed he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

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MS is a central-nervous system disorder that attacks the brain and spinal cord. There is no cure. Mary Rensel, MD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis, did not treat Osbourne, but says treatment can manage many MS symptoms.

Medications in the form of injections and pills “can manipulate the immune system to reduce symptoms. These treatments are very tolerable,” Dr. Rensel says.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Different people are affected differently by the disease and will experience different symptoms. These may come and go over time (relapse-remitting MS) or progress over time (progressive MS).

Symptoms may include:

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•    Affected vision
•    Weakness or numbness in one or more parts of the body
•    Loss of balance
•    Difficulty walking
•    Fatigue
•    Tingling down the back, arm or legs
•    Urinary symptoms

Osbourne noticed sudden, reduced vision in his right eye, which spurred him to get treatment.

Who can get multiple sclerosis?

MS can happen to anyone. The disease is typically diagnosed in people aged 20 to 40, Dr. Rensel says. But she says today more teens and even younger children are being diagnosed with MS, thanks to more effective diagnostic tools such as MRI.

A diagnosis of MS is not good news by any stretch. But when a celebrity like Jack Osbourne reveals he has MS, more light is naturally shed on the condition.

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MS patients can take a level of comfort when an announcement like this is made, Dr. Rensel says. “They know they’ll be more attention paid to it, and maybe it will bring even more research funds to help them feel better — and hopefully kick MS.”

See and read here about promising advances in MS treatment therapy.

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