For many seniors, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) can be challenging to manage. This progressive disease affects the central nervous system, and it can produce a wide variety of unpredictable symptoms. Even though doctors still know very little about what causes MS, treatments to minimize the symptoms are more effective than ever. Research teams throughout the world are now working on advanced new medications that could potentially suppress the symptoms and slow the rate of cognitive degeneration.
Seniors with MS can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Rockwall families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
A Look at the Risk Factors
To understand the potential treatment options, it is important to understand how this condition develops. Many doctors believe MS is an inherited disorder that can be triggered by environmental factors, which might include vitamin D deficiencies, smoking, and exposure to certain forms of bacteria. What doctors do know is that people who have a first-degree relative with MS are much more likely to develop the disorder.
Different Types of MS
One of the reasons multiple sclerosis is challenging to treat is because there are four unique types of this disease, and each type has its own symptoms. The most common form is relapsing-remitting MS, and doctors believe around 85 percent of people who are diagnosed have this type of multiple sclerosis. Other forms of MS progress much quicker, and the relapses between flare-ups are extremely rare. These conditions are all addressed in different ways, but the primary goal of most treatments is to minimize the symptoms and enhance the senior’s overall quality of life.
Advances in MS Treatments
One of the most promising treatment options currently in the approval process for the European Medicines Agency and the FDA is a drug known as ocrelizumab. This medication destroys the B cells found within the immune system, which seems to slow the damage caused by MS. Another reason this medication has received so much attention is because it seems to be effective with at least two of the four types of MS. Seniors who took this drug for a few weeks experienced less brain damage and were able to walk 25 feet, which is much quicker than the control group.
Additional Treatments and Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes and natural treatments will not cure MS, but they can drastically enhance a senior’s quality of life. Doctors have discovered that some seniors who alter their diets are able to reduce the frequency and severity of MS flare-ups. Regular exercise and guided physical therapy are also extremely beneficial to seniors with MS. Symptoms such as constipation and IBS can often be treated with natural supplements like probiotics. Taking a multifaceted approach that includes prescription medications and lifestyle changes is currently the most effective way to manage this disorder.
Older adults who have MS or another serious condition and need help maintaining their independence while living at home can benefit from having a caregiver. Rockwall, TX, seniors increase their chances of aging in place safely and comfortably when they have a trusted professional to rely on.
For seniors living in Rockwall, TX, part-time care can be a wonderful solution when they need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at (972) 722-7833.