Health

from tingling to loss of strength, the first symptoms of demyelination

There are some ailments that, more than others, can make us doubt that our body is harboring one demyelinating disease. And, in these cases, when it’s not just a bad experience that lasts a few hours, it’s important to seek help from a neurologist. There demyelination (like the one that hit Fedez) is a process that in most cases can lead to multiple sclerosisthe most frequent inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and which affects one in every 500 women and one in every thousand men in Italy.

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The alarm bells are different: decrease in muscle strength, tingling, difficulty in articulating words and drastic reduction of vision.

In Genoa the Irccs San Martino hospital it is one of the national reference centers for the fight against multiple sclerosis. Its scientific director is Professor Antonio Uccelli. “In young adults there can be very subtle and even quite varied symptoms that can be traced back to inflammatory pathologies on demyelinating bases – explains Uccelli, professor of neurology at the University of Genoa – Among those that can be considered as indicative of an inflammatory disease, the most frequent are sudden loss of vision and tingling in one part of the body, such as in the leg. But there are also difficulties in articulating speech or in maintaining balance. A symptom that causes a lot of alarm is the decrease in strength ».

But does every tingling have to be scary? “In principle, it must be very clear that the disorder must manifest itself in a relatively acute or subacute modality and must last for a certain amount of time – he specifies – So people who have a tingling tingle in one leg should not worry. because they have been sitting for a long time ».

The first step in a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can be the visit to the doctor family: it is he who can refer to the neurologist. The specialist then decides which analyzes to do. In the clinical path there are an MRI of the brain, a neurophysiological study and lumbar puncture.

And for the treatments? «Medicine has made enormous progress – continues Uccelli – Unlike in the past, we are able to recognize it very early. Sometimes even a few weeks or months pass from the first symptoms to the diagnosis. Intervening early means preserving the integrity of the central nervous system. The preventive treatments are of great impact and effective: the goal is to prevent the disease from causing further damage ». Basically, explains the expert, it is a bit like being in front of a forest fire: the important thing is to prevent and prevent the flames from destroying other parts of the green areas. So, in this case, they can destroy other parts of the nervous system.

«If we intervene very early we can slow down, and in some circumstances even block, the mechanisms linked to autoimmunity – says the scholar – The immune system is our defense system: they are soldiers who protect the castle. But the soldiers, due to problems related to the correct functioning of the viewfinder, may not correctly distinguish between the microbes and the cells of the castle itself. Defenders thus also damage our own structures and, specifically, those of the central nervous system and myelin. If we intervene with drugs capable of blocking or restoring the correct functioning of the immune system we can extinguish the inflammation or block the spread of the disease “.

Multiple sclerosis sufferers can do a lot to contain the damage by adhering to treatment, even when symptoms are not so disabling. “The big problem we neurologists have is convince those young people to take chronic therapy who fortunately are very well at the time of diagnosis and are able to study, go skiing, sing – concludes Antonio Uccelli – This way we can prevent damage. The natural history of multiple sclerosis translates into a disability that in 80% of people arrives within 25 years “. Fedez’s confession, therefore, could push many young people to take care of themselves and follow the treatments.

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