In a statement to Veja magazine, actress Guta Stresser, who played the character of Bebel, in TV Globo’s A Grande Família, shared how she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. According to her, it was “terrifying” and made her “lose ground” at the same time. “I didn’t even know what it was, just that it affected the brain,” he said.
About the symptoms, he revealed that in 2020 he realized that he had trouble remembering things, but he didn’t give much importance to the deviations.
Then, as the condition worsened, Guta reported that he began to forget simple words, like glass and chair. She also had frequent tingling in her feet and hands, intense migraines, mood swings and ringing in her ears. But it was only after falling in the living room of the house that he consulted a doctor and, then, the diagnosis fell.
“I know that I will have to live with multiple sclerosis for the rest of my life. May it be long and full. Each passing day tastes like a small victory,” said the artist.
To yahooAline MB Matos, neurologist at Santa Paula Hospital, São Paulo, explained that multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system.
“A chronic disease is when there is no cure. In the case of sclerosis, although it is a chronic disease, there are treatments [para amenizar os sintomas] both in the SUS (Unified Health System) and in private care.”
When we talk about autoimmune disease, she says, it means that the disease results from a change in the individual’s immune system.
“The immune system of patients with multiple sclerosis confuses the myelin sheath, a kind of membrane that covers part of the neuron, with a foreign body. Thus, the immune system mistakenly starts attacking the myelin sheath and , therefore, to affect the functioning of the nervous system,” says Matos.
According to the neurologist, the disease affects both men and women, but the incidence is higher in women.
Symptoms tend to appear between the ages of 30 and 35. Some of the signs are:
Loss of muscle strength, such as difficulty walking;
Change in sensitivity;
Lack of coordination of movements.
To diagnose multiple sclerosis, Matos listed three methods:
Clinical history of the patient to know which and when the symptoms appeared;
Complementary examinations, such as magnetic resonance imaging of the skull, cervical spine and thoracic;
CSF examination – puncture of the lumbar spine.
Although it is an incurable disease, multiple sclerosis relies on drug treatments to minimize symptoms. The neurologist explains that the type of treatment takes into account his severity – if he has a milder demeanor, if he is at a moderate stage or if he appeared with high aggression.
“The important thing is that when faced with a new neurological symptom, the patient immediately seeks an urgent care unit to have a rapid assessment. Early diagnosis and treatment greatly alter the history of the disease for the patient “, he says.
The neurologist also says the goal is for the patient’s routine to be as close as possible to what it was before receiving the diagnosis. “He will be able to start a family, pursue his projects, take the trips he has always dreamed of. Today, the most rewarding thing is to know that there is an opportunity to do so.”
In addition to drug treatment, Matos recommends maintaining an exercise routine to help the nervous system regenerate, improve feelings of fatigue, and prevent other illnesses, such as heart disease.
At Veja, Guta said he does all kinds of brain exercises — and Matos reinforces the importance of maintaining cognitive activity on a daily basis. “Reading frequently and interacting with many people during the day are methods that help in the treatment of multiple sclerosis,” explains the neurologist.
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