Multiple Sclerosis

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Treatment

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but a variety of treatments are available that can reduce the frequency and severity of relapses.

The goals of MS treatment are to slow the progression of the disease, relieve symptoms, and minimize the effects of acute attacks. Health practitioners may prescribe corticosteroids for short periods of time to help reduce the severity of relapses as well as other medications to address specific symptoms, such as beta interferon, copolymer I, natalizumab and fingolimod, the first oral therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment and management of MS symptoms. Fatigue and depression sometimes associated with MS may be treated with appropriate antidepressants or steroidal drugs. For more on specific medications that may be prescribed, see the Treatments page on the National MS Society web site. 

MS does not significantly decrease the lifespan of those who have it, but it can frequently and intermittently affect quality of life. People with MS usually work with a team of professionals who help support and monitor their condition and address their changing needs. Current MS research is directed toward understanding the cause of MS in hopes of developing better drugs to treat, if not cure or prevent the disease.

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