Myelin is a protective sheath that insulates nerve endings, therefore the answer to what is demyelination is simple it is the loss or damage to the myelin. This can occur for a number of reasons and are usually connected to one form of autoimmune disease or another. MS is by far the most common but other illnesses include transverse myelitis, Charcot Marie tooth and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.


Symptoms of Demyelination


Symptoms of demyelinaton generally remain the same across the board and will usually encompass at least one or two of the following at any one time. Blurred or double vision can occur and pain when moving the eye is also a common complaint. Tingling or a strange sensation of numbness is another very common complaint and this is usually located in the arms, legs and chest area and in some cases the face too. General muscle weakness and loss of dexterity can occur over time as can coordination and balance problems.


Treatment for demyelination


Treatments for this condition include physical therapy to strengthen the muscles, to have regular mobility and to reduce any muscle shrinkage to a minimum. Pain killers to aid with the day to day discomfort as well as muscle relaxing drugs and in some cases drugs which can help slow the rate of new lesions forming on the myelin.

Selecting the course of action to be taken depends entirely on the type of demyelination you have, as not all courses of treatment will be effective for every specific conditions. The earlier the treatment starts the better the outcome will be, however it is worth noting that there are no cure for this condition. All treatments whether physical or medical are there to make life easier and less painful for the patient.


Other issues or problems


Many people who suffer from this condition will most likely fall victim to a bout of depression, the disease is such that it can make normal everyday life very difficult and will make even the strongest willed person feel weak and useless. If this is the case your GP can prescribe antidepressants which can help you during the hardest times.

Mobility may become an issue over time, as more and more damage is done to the nerve endings and muscle weakness progresses. Although physical therapy can help it cannot stop the symptoms and for many who have to live with this condition the last resort may well be opting for a mobility scooter. The idea may not sound appealing at first but weighing it up against having to rely to other people to do everything for you and it does at least give you some freedom to be independent.