Multiple Sclerosis (MS) FAQs (cont.)
Can multiple sclerosis be cured?
Multiple Sclerosis cannot be cured, but people with MS can be treated with medications that are preventive, that speed recovery, or that relieve the symptoms.
- Several medications, known as immunomodulatory drugs, have been shown to be effective in decreasing the frequency of new MS lesions and the number of new attacks. In addition, the various symptoms that accompany MS can be managed. For information on medications for MS, see Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Medications.
- Also helpful in the treatment of people with MS are physical therapy, rehabilitation, and exercise; attention to diet; and other health and lifestyle adjustments.
- Research into a cure for MS is ongoing.
- Scientists are researching agents that may stop the immune attack that destroys myelin or agents that may stimulate new myelin production.
- Researchers are studying agents that may halt the progression of MS.
- Researchers are starting to identify the components of the immune system that are necessary to orchestrate an attack against the central nervous system. These components include not only the different types of immune cells but also the molecules that facilitate their entry into the nervous system and the factors they secrete. Once the relative role of these components is understood, more specific medications for MS may be developed.
Carmel Armon, MD, MHS, MSc
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