(5) In several weeks, paralysis will begin to disappear, usually starting from
the head and moving downward.
(6) Residual effects are rare, but prolonged flaccid paralysis may lead to
muscle atrophy requiring rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Section VI. DEGENERATIVE NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDERS
2-33. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
a. Definition. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive disease of the
central nervous system characterized by the destruction of myelin. Myelin is the fatty
and protein material that covers certain nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
(1) The cause of MS is unknown. Research is investigating the possibilities
of infection by slow virus, alteration in the immune system, and genetic factors.
Multiple Sclerosis primarily affects adults between 20 and 40 years of
b. Signs and Symptoms.
Visual disturbances (nystagmus, blurred vision, blindness).
Slurred, hesitating speech.
Abnormal reflexes (absent or hyperactive).
Urinary and bowel incontinence/retention.
Emotional lability; (depressed, euphoric).
c. Medical and Nursing Management.
Objectives of care.
(a) To keep the patient as active and functional as possible in order to
lead a purposeful life.