BME100 f2016:Group2 W8AM L1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Health Care Issue
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the brain and spinal cord in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath which covers nerve fibers. Currently, there is no one way to detect Multiple Sclerosis. In order to properly diagnose a patient, a physician must thoroughly examine their history and may perform blood tests, a spinal tap, an MRI or evoked potential tests (Mayo Clinic Staff). Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis can be very difficult because often times, all these tests are needed. Usually, it takes two to four months in order for the patient to be officially diagnosed but in some cases, it could take years.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to attack the myelin sheath of the nerve. It affects a wide range of the world’s population. There are treatments available, but there is no definite way of diagnosing the disease. MS typically is more commonly found in women between the ages of 20-50, it is believed to not be hereditary but rather unpredictable. Symptoms of MS vary from person to person and are often symptoms that correlate with other diseases, making it so difficult to read. Symptoms range from blindness to abnormal fatigue, to memory issues, and in worse case partial or complete paralysis. (Mayo Clinic Staff, "MS the Disease")
At the moment, there are four different methods being used to test patients for Multiple Sclerosis.
1. Examining the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can help detect diseases of the nervous system. For example, it may sometimes contain proteins found in myelin, contain oligoclonal bands that indicate inflammation in the central nervous system, or elevated levels of immunoglobulin G. In order to obtain this fluid, the patient needs to have a spinal tap done. This involves giving the patient anesthesia and inserting a needle into the lower spine. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most common ways to diagnose MS and keep track of the disease. There are several factors that could affect the amount of information yield from these MRI scans including, types of scans and types of magnets. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
3. Another form of diagnosing MS is an evoked potential (EP) test which can measure the brain’s response to electrical stimulation in certain areas. When there is a slow response, it is assumed that it is caused by demyelination, which is a key evidence of MS. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
4. One of the new methods of diagnosing patients is by doing an optical coherence tomography (OCT). By viewing the retinal structures at the back of the eye, one can see the condition of the retinal nerve fiber layer. According to recent testing, there seems to be a difference between the layer of people with MS than those without it. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
The advantage of evoked potential tests, specifically visual evoked potentials, is that it can detect a very early symptom of MS along the optic nerve pathways.(National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
The disadvantages of an MRI testing include not everyone showing wounds or symptoms caused by MS at the time of the scan, as well as some of the wounds being common to people of an older age.(National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
Since optical coherence tomography is a relatively new form of testing, the method may need to be refined. Also, it should not be the first test used to diagnose MS, but rather used in order to gather further evidence of the disease in a person. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
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Number/Assignee: WO 2002059604 A2 Title: Diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis Image: Filing Date: Jan 25, 2002 https://www.google.com/patents/WO2002059604A2?cl=en
“Diagnosis Tools.” National Multiple Sclerosis Society. National Multiple Sclerosis Society, n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.
Healthline. "Multiple Sclerosis by the Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You."Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Symptoms and Causes." Multiple Sclerosis. Mayo Clinic, 2015. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.
"MS the Disease." National Multiple Sclerosis Society. National Multiple Sclerosis Society, n.d Web. 05 Sept. 2016.