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In only 26 and a new father, Jack Osbourne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this spring.
The son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne told People magazine that was diagnosed just two weeks after his daughter Pearl Clementine was born.
“I was angry and frustrated and thought: ‘Why now,'” Osbourne told the magazine. “I have a family and that is what is supposed to be the most important.”
While Osbourne is younger than the average patient is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it is not by much. The average age at which a patient is diagnosed is 37.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. The disease attacks the myelin sheath, a protective sheath surrounding nerve cells, and approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. About 200 people are diagnosed each week.
While the disease is degenerative, symptoms that affect the muscles, bowel function, vision, nerves and sexual function and personality, can vary greatly in severity and range.
Because the typical early onset of the disease, Osbourne, and many other patients newly diagnosed with MS, are on the threshold of many decisions in life, including career, marriage and children.
“People have spent their entire lives until the time of diagnosis imagine your life in a certain way, have to interpret how they will let go of that image and how they see themselves, and adjusted that new information in the sense of what they are, “said Rosalind Kalb, a clinical psychologist and director of the professional resource Center at the National multiple sclerosis Society. “It’s a grieving process, and can not advance how they will live with MS until you spend a little time with the loss of a life without MS.”
While the diagnosis can throw life, especially the life of a young person not patients as Osbourne should not jump to conclusions about how the disease will run its course, Kalb said fully resolved, in disarray.
“It is important that patients should not go out and leave their jobs or relationships break down, as they may be able to live a full life with manageable symptoms,” Kalb said.
Doctors and patients do not know how their multiple sclerosis will behave in the first weeks and months after diagnosis, and it is really only in retrospect that one can understand the severity of their disease.
“While the public face of MS may be the wheelchair and walking problems, most people with MS do not need the help of a wheelchair but rather than live in uncertainty” Dr. Daniel Kantor, president of the Florida Society of Neurology and member of the American Academy of Neurology, wrote in an email. “We’ve been blessed in America to live in a country with equal access to persons with disabilities and therefore the most difficult problem of coping with MS is the fear of the unknown.”
Due to the sudden change and the many unknowns, he said Kalb advice is sometimes recommended to help people cope with the new diagnosis, but not always. Most importantly, it was said that patients need “access to adequate information and support from the people around them.”
“Most people do not have the luxury of psychological therapy after a diagnosis, but this would be ideal,” Kantor said. “We welcome the Osbourne publicly support the idea to seek advice. This can benefit many other less famous patients.”
Kalb said that people who tend to have the most difficult time with their disease are those who approach him with a “will overcome this” attitude.
“We do not know how to defeat this disease, however, do not have a cure, but there are many treatments available that a few years ago, so it is better to give priority to the challenges of the day ‘, and start to early treatment, “he said.
Patients experience a range of symptoms of early onset of the disease, but people usually will notice changes in your vision, especially when feeling overheated, and numbness, tingling and other odd sensations in their limbs and extremities. Others experience pain or changes in bladder function and memory.
Osbourne told People magazine who was diagnosed with the disease after losing 60 percent of his vision in his right eye.
“The good news is we have eight different treatments as a way to manage the disease,” said Dr. Tim Coetzee, director of research with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “We have three others in search of FDA approval at this time and three or four of the advanced clinical trials.”
Advances offer options to help modify the disease and relieve symptoms of decreased mobility and nerve function. Drugs such as natalizumab are used to prevent asthma attacks and inflammation.
Doctors recommend that patients start treatment as soon as possible, as it is when the drug is more effective in delaying and reducing events and appearance, Coetzee said. Otherwise, patients are encouraged to maintain a vigorous, active lifestyle and a positive attitude.
“It is important to maintain a healthy approach, but pragmatic of this disease,” Coetzee said. “As with anything, do not know where we will be in the future with this disease, but only 30 years ago, there were many unknowns. Although still unknown, there is much more we know about the symptoms and treatments and more knowledge to build a base on “.
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