Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
At present there is no treatment that can cure multiple sclerosis. However, medications that slow down the progress of the disease and give relief from the symptoms are available.
Currently, the most effective treatment, called the ABC treatment, is aimed at preventing demyelination and controlling relapses. In ABC, A stands for Avonex, B stands for Betaseron/ Betaferon, and C stands for Copaxone. While, A and B are types of beta interferon, Copexone is a different drug.
Although these treatments do not promise a complete cure, their effectiveness in slowing down the progress and reducing relapses has been noticeable. In relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis, the number of relapses and their severity gets reduced by 25 per cent or more and the lesion load may also get reduced by 70 per cent or more.
Steroids may also be used for relieving progress multiple sclerosis symptoms. They affect cell protein synthesis and as a result affect the production of immune reaction against the myelin sheath.
Some of the immunosuppressive drugs used are Azathioprine, Cyclosporine, Methotrexate, and Cyclophosphamide. Drugs used in case of altered sensation are Ibuprofen and Aspirin, while in case of tremors, Botulinum Toxin and Isoniazid may be used. Other medicines commonly are prescribed are muscle relaxants and medicines to combat fatigue.
A few novel treatments are currently in the research or experimental testing stage. These include Natalizumab and Alemtuzab (generic names), amongst others.
Some multiple sclerosis patients also tend to resort to alternative medicines such as homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, and physiotherapy. Results from these treatments are varied and there is no conclusive evidence that these treatments are beneficial to multiple sclerosis patients.