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Receiving a multiple sclerosis diagnosis can be hard, but you’re not alone. The Larivière & Massicotte pharmacy team is here to support you through this difficult time, working with your healthcare specialists to ensure the best possible pharmacological treatment. Do not lose hope: multiple sclerosis treatments are progressing at an incredible pace and research has never been so promising. We’re here to give you peace of mind. You focus on fighting the disease, we’ll take care of the rest

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What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease afflicting the central nervous system. The brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves can be affected by this disease, which touches more than 90,000 people in Canada. Multiple sclerosis can cause extreme fatigue, impaired vision and mobility, and loss of coordination. These symptoms can vary in duration and severity. Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease which can have a significant impact on quality of life. Although environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors are suspected in its development, the exact causes of multiple sclerosis remain unknown. Specialists are working relentlessly to discover its origins and develop more effective treatments that can cure the disease.

How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?

A number of clinical tests are necessary to get a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, including brain imaging tests such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Early and accurate diagnosis is crucial to ensure better management of the disease. In order to guide the diagnosis, it is essential to get a full overview of the patient’s symptoms. These include vision problems, muscle weakness, numbness, and coordination problems. Lesions characteristic of multiple sclerosis can be detected in the brain and spinal cord by MRI, and a cerebrospinal fluid analysis can show the presence of antibodies specific to the disease. Diagnosing multiple sclerosis is a complex process and requires ruling out other similar neurological conditions.

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What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary from person to person. This complex neurological disease can cause extreme fatigue, coordination problems, blurred vision or loss of vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs, muscle weakness and pain, memory impairment and concentration problems, lack of balance, and breathing difficulties. These symptoms may occur intermittently, interspersed with periods when symptoms subside or worsen. This fluctuating pattern of MS symptoms makes the disease difficult to diagnose and control. It can have a significant impact on the quality of life of those affected. Appropriate medical management is essential to help patients cope with these symptoms and maintain their well-being.

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What is the treatment for multiple sclerosis?

Treatment of multiple sclerosis seeks to contain inflammation of nerve fibres, reduce the number and severity of relapses, prevent irreversible tissue damage, and relieve symptoms. Management varies according to the type of disease and the person’s individual needs.

Disease-modifying therapies (DMARDs), which act by modifying the underlying mechanisms of multiple sclerosis to reduce the frequency of relapses and slow disease progression, are recommended for relapsing-remitting MS. Patients can choose the form of treatment best suited to their situation, since these drugs can be administered in a variety of ways: subcutaneously, intramuscularly, orally, or intravenously. Symptom management is essential, and may involve medication to alleviate fatigue, mobility problems, spasticity, and pain. Steroids can also help reduce the length and gravity of relapses. These treatments are effective in the short term, but should be used with caution because of their potential side effects when taken over a longer period.

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How can Larivière et Massicotte support you?

Our mission

Our committed team works hand in hand with community pharmacists, healthcare teams, and various healthcare professionals to support patients with multiple sclerosis, ensuring the best possible care for them.

Common questions

What are the risk factors for multiple sclerosis? Are there ways to prevent it?

Certain factors can influence the onset of multiple sclerosis, including genetics, being female, age, and viral infections. Because of the complexity of its causes, there are currently no effective preventive measures against the disease. It is possible to reduce the risk of autoimmune disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, physical exercise, stress management, avoiding smoking, and taking vitamin D in case of deficiency. For people with relapsing-remitting MS, disease-modifying drugs can slow its progression. Research in preventive treatment is evolving, but specific treatment has yet to be identified.

What are the different types of multiple sclerosis?

There are different types of multiple sclerosis, each with its own distinct characteristics. The first stage, called “clinically isolated syndrome,” refers to a single episode of neurological symptoms. Cerebral or spinal cord abnormalities can be detected by MRI, indicating a risk of developing a relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis. This form, also known as “relapsing-remitting MS,” is characterized by unexpected attacks followed by complete or partial remissions. “Primary progressive multiple sclerosis” is defined by a slow accumulation of symptoms without distinct relapses. It may show slight improvement, but is marked by the lack of remissions. Understanding the different forms of multiple sclerosis is essential to tailoring each person’s medical care to the evolution of their disease.

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What role does vitamin D play in multiple sclerosis?

Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with the onset of multiple sclerosis. It may influence the immune system by limiting the activity of pro-inflammatory T cells, which contribute to inflammation in multiple sclerosis. It also seems to be involved in the regeneration of cells that cause neurological damage. Studies have also shown that sufficient vitamin D can reduce the number of relapses and slow disease progression. Although there is a link between vitamin D and multiple sclerosis, clinical trials have not always provided conclusive results when it comes to vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It is therefore important to mention that more research is needed to fully understand its clinical benefits.

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Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?

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