1. I was reading a thread concerning people that have been diagnosed with MS. First, I would like to extend my prayers for them.

    I would also like to ask everyone this question.

    I have had 5 friends diagnosed recently (all in healthcare and all in their 40s) with MS. My question is whether this higher number of MS diagnosis is due to better diagnostic tools or is there something going on that we aren't aware of yet? I know that MS can hit anytime between 20-50 but, this seems like an awfully high number!

    Opinions would be appreciated.
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    About essarge

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 1,345; Likes: 12
    student nurse extern


  3. by   angelac1978
    My personal opinion is that the diagnosis of MS is getting better. My mother started having symptoms of MS in the late 70's and wasn't diagnosed until 1984! She went to doctor after doctor after doctor who told her she was either a. crazy or b. faking it
    She finally went to see a doctor at UVA (she really didn't want to go because she was sure she would hear the same old same old) this doctor came in, looked over her chart and said "you either have a brain tumor or MS and you'd better hope its a brain tumor because we can do something about that" he predicted that she would be wheelchair bound in 2 years. Now in 2003, she uses a wheel chair only when going out to the mall or grocery and she uses a walker around her house. I have found in alot of MS patients I have met, that they tend to develop a stuborn streak, or maybe they have it to begin with!

    My question is whether this higher number of MS diagnosis is due to better diagnostic tools or is there something going on that we aren't aware of yet?
    I have heard the same asked about cancer. Are we just better at diagnosing cancer or is there something in our environment that is causing more cancers to devlop? My personal belief about MS and cancer is that the former is true. I think that out technology and diagnostic capabilities are so more advanced now that what would have previously gone undetected is now caught early.

    Sorry for my longwinded response.

  4. by   VickyRN
    There is some controversy about ASPARTAME causing MS or MS-like symptoms. According to this argument, ASPARTAME breaks down into FORMALDEHYDE, causing CNS damage (thus the link to MS). For this reason, I AVOID all aspartame products.
  5. by   angelac1978
    most of the research that I have ever heard of suggests that MS is an autoimmune disease and that a strain of the herpes virus is the "trigger" if you will that causes the immune system to start attacking the myelin sheath and researchers are trying to figure out why the immune systems of some people see the virus as harmful while others do not (apparently this strain of herpes is fairly common and most people have it and don't even knowit). I know in my mom's case, she's always has a super-charged immune system, never and I mean never has she gotten sick. I'd be interested to see some more info on the aspartame connection, if there is one. Awhile back I remember reading something about aspartame being linked to the Gulf War Syndrome, that diet sodas had sat out in the desert sun and that aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde when heated. Interesting stuff.... I can't drink diet sodas anyway, the aspartame gives me a tremendous headache.