Each patient’s journey in managing and living with multiple sclerosis is unique because disease progression varies widely. But there are some common challenges most patients face, including:
- Depression: MS patients are at risk for depression, as the disease may impact the nerves that transmit signals affecting mood and some of the drugs used to treat MS may increase the likelihood of depression. According to research, from 36 to 46 percent of MS patients will experience a major depressive episode.
- Balance and Stability: More than half of MS patients have problems with balance and patients are much more likely to fall. About one-third of people with MS eventually lose their ability to walk.
- Cognitive Functions: Cognitive challenges are common among MS patients, including problems with memory, visual perception, attention and concentration.
- Bladder and Bowel: More than 80 percent of MS patients experience bladder issues, such as incontinence, urgency or hesitancy, or frequent nighttime urination. Failure to treat bladder problems can lead to infections.
MS patients also often have comorbidities not directly tied to their disease. Research shows that the five most prevalent comorbidities among MS patients were psychiatric issues including depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.*