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Multiple sclerosis and your eyes -- Nystagmus; Twitching; Optic neuritis, and More

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MS is characterized by the immune system damaging myelin — a substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. Damaged areas of myelin are referred to as plaques or lesions.
Demyelinating lesions can affect different parts of the CNS, including the optic nerves. One of the common early signs of MS is vision problems.

People with MS sometimes experience myoclonus. Myoclonus is sudden, involuntary twitching or quivering of a muscle or group of muscles.
It’s a reactive nerve cell misfire that sends the wrong signal to your muscles. This could be the result of demyelinating lesions from MS.

There are a variety of causes for an eye twitch in people with MS, such as nystagmus and internuclear ophthalmoplegia. Other eye conditions such as optic neuritis and diplopia are also known to affect many people with MS.

Nystagmus is uncontrolled repetitive vertical, horizontal, or circular eye movements. This makes it nearly impossible to steadily view objects.
Acquired nystagmus is not an uncommon symptom of MS, and often results in diminished vision and depth perception. It also can impact coordination and balance.
If you have visually disabling nystagmus, your doctor might recommend medications such as:
gabapentin (Neurontin)baclofen (Lioresal)memantine (Namenda)clonazepam (Klonopin)
Internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO) is damage to the nerve fibers that coordinate both eyes in looking from side to side (horizontal movements). Vertical eye movements are not affected.
If INO is caused by a stroke (typically in older people), it usually only affects one eye. If it’s caused by MS (typically in younger people), it often affects both eyes.

Some studiesTrusted Source have indicated that INO is seen in about 23 percentTrusted Source of people with MS and that most people will experience a complete recovery.
For acute internuclear ophthalmoplegia, your doctor might recommend intravenous steroid therapy.

A common vision problem related to MS, optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve that can result in blurred vision, pain, and a sudden loss of vision — typically in one eye.

Rarely causing blindness, optic neuritis might result in the blurring of vision or a dark spot in the center of the visual field, known as a central scotoma.

Optic neuritis commonly improves on its own, but based on your specific situation, your doctor might recommend a steroid such as methylprednisolone administered intravenously, possibly followed with oral steroids.


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Original author: Stuart
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Condemnation, sympathy after man helps wife kill herself - Los Angeles Times

“Are you sure you want to die?”

Ángel Hernández stared at his wife through clear glasses. His face was pallid, haggard, his lip quivering.

María José Carrasco, 61, and eight years his junior, drooped in a squeaky red armchair. Her body was limp, her face sunken, and her mouth sagged into a scowl. But Carrasco wasn’t angry; she was nervous, uneasy even. Uneasy and in pain. She had endured Multiple Sclerosis for 30 years, and it was ravaging her body.

“Would you like it if we do it tomorrow?” Hernández said, glancing into the camera recording it all.


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Researchers develop novel method to diagnose and monitor autoimmune disorders

Researchers develop novel method to diagnose and monitor autoimmune disorders

Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.May 19 2020

Researchers from Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have developed a novel method for diagnosing and monitoring autoimmune disorders. Within a mere 25 minutes, their new biosensor not only measures the concentration of autoantibodies in human blood serum with extremely high sensitivity, but also -- for the first time -- quantifies their activity. The combination of these parameters permits the elaboration of new diagnostic criteria for autoimmune diseases, as well as new approaches to their treatment. The paper was published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the highest-ranking scientific journal in the field of biosensing technology and analytical chemistry.

Autoantibodies produced by the immune system misinterpret the organism's cells and organs as targets, causing autoimmune disorders. The autoantibodies are associated with more than 80 serious autoimmune diseases ranging from rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus to Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes. Many of them require lifelong care and treatment to alleviate suffering. Autoantibodies are present in the blood of about 10% of the population. Due to a high prevalence of autoimmune disorders, the economic impact is enormous and is estimated for some countries as twice that of cancer. Autoantibodies appear in blood long before clinical onset, and their characteristics can be used to foresee disease activity and severity.

Currently, the treatment of autoimmune diseases is substantially complicated due to dramatic variations in the results of commercial tests by different manufacturers.

"Depending on the laboratory running the test, and the method used, the autoantibody concentration measured in the same sample at the same time may vary by a factor of 10," says one of the paper's authors Alexey Orlov, a senior scientist of the Biophotonics Lab at GPI RAS and Nanobiotechnology Lab at MIPT, a 2010 graduate of MIPT. "In fact, no one could rely on autoantibody concentration as a quantitative parameter to evaluate therapy efficiency."

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