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The young person's guide to MS Is there a cure for MS?

Is there a chance of finding a cure soon?

How can people treat or even cure MS?
Why is it incurable? Why does it never go away?

At the moment there is no cure for MS. MS is a chronic condition, which means that it is always there, even though the symptoms may come and go. Although there may be times when people with MS look perfectly well, this doesn't mean that the MS has gone away.

In the last 10 - 15 years researchers have learned a great deal more about MS and real progress is at last being made. Scientists all over the world are searching for better ways to treat symptoms, to slow the progression of MS and to repair the nervous system.

Treatments that can help MS

Although there is no cure for MS, there are different types of treatment that may help. Treatment will depend on each individual and their symptoms.

Treatment for particular symptoms or for relapses

Some medicines can be used to help symptoms on a daily basis, for example, to help reduce pain, improve bladder problems or reduce tiredness.

If a person with MS has an attack, or relapse, they may be treated with steroids, either in the form of tablets or sometimes through a drip into a vein. For this, they may need to go into hospital for a few days. Steroids are given to reduce the inflammation caused by the damage to the myelin, and can help to speed up recovery.

Disease modifying drugs

These drugs are suitable for some people with MS and are used to reduce the number and severity of relapses. The drug is injected on a regular basis - either once a day, once a week or every few days.

Physiotherapy and other therapies

Some people with MS have treatment from a physiotherapist, who can help to improve mobility and give advice on exercises to help keep the joints and muscles working. Different people with MS find different things useful - for example, some find that therapies such as yoga, reflexology, meditation or a special diet help them to feel better.

My mum is not well, sometimes for a day, sometimes for a week or two. My mum takes injections to make it better, which it definitely does. The injections worried me because they look painful, but now it's fine and I feel OK about it.

Charlie, 14

Dad goes to see a physiotherapist sometimes.

Daniel, 12

Dad does yoga. He says he feels less tired and more relaxed afterwards.

Chris, 15

Mum's MS affects her legs, but it has got better since she's been using beta interferon.

Maddy, 11

My mum went on a low fat diet. She also takes multivitamins and supplements.

Harriet, 10

I often have to cope with accepting drugs and medicines for my mother at the door and I have had to adapt my life in order to cope with her MS.

Ian, 13

My mum used to wet herself a lot, which was really embarrassing if we were out. She takes some tablets now which means it doesn't happen as often.

Chloe, 14

Mum is affected by relapses, which make her tired all day and she can't walk, but she takes a drug. The relapses don't occur very often.

Robert, 14

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