Multiple Sclerosis

CASE STUDY

My Journey with MS

When I was a 16-year-old senior in high school, I started having trouble seeing the blackboard in class. My vision was blurry when I read textbooks but, after a couple of weeks, it was apparent that double vision was the problem. When I mentioned this to my mother, she made an appointment with my eye doctor who changed the prescription of my glasses. However, that made little difference, and the double vision became worse.

My family doctor was concerned and referred me to a neurologist who performed an examination that indicated that my visual problem was due to a weakness of eye movement in one eye. He noticed a droop in my left eye and that the left pupil was larger than the right.

MRI scans of my brain and spinal cord revealed many abnormal “white spots” that the neurologists called plaques. He was very suspicious that I had multiple sclerosis (MS) and treated me with a course of prednisone that caused the double vision to improve over the next month.

I entered college and had no further neurological symptoms for several years. After I married and had my first daughter, I awoke one morning with weakness and numbness in both legs, and had to be supported by my husband when walking across the room. When I covered my right eye, I was unable to see anything, indicating that I was totally blind in my left eye.

My symptoms have fluctuated over the past 20 years, but have gradually become more severe. I am unable to predict when another bout of new symptoms may develop as they seem to come on without notice.

I am wheelchair bound now and need a great deal of assistance from my husband and children. The biggest problem is difficulty in feeding myself because of the tremors in my arms. I have been on maximum doses of steroids to alleviate these symptoms.

I am hopeful for a scientific breakthrough, whether it is an advance with novel drugs, stem cell therapies or other breakthrough treatments. The research scientists and physicians at NeuroCures offer hope to me and other patients with multiple sclerosis that one day we may have a cure.