More MS news articles for September 2002

Pain and its management in multiple sclerosis

Encephalos, Vol 39, Issue 3, July-Sept 2002
EF. Koutsouraki

While MS is mostly a palnless disease nevertheless 50% of all MS individuals consider pain a significant problem. It appears to derive from what might be termed "?short circuits" in the tracts that transmit sensory impulses between the brain and spinal cord. The predominant type of pain seen in MS, called "dysesthesia", is a burning, tooth-achy type of pain that occurs most commonly in the extremities, although it may also occur on the trunk. Trigeminal neuralgia and migrain are also frequent in MS. Drugs to control these types of pain are mainly antiepileptics and antidepressants. Standard pain medications such as aspirin, codeine and narcotic analgesics are not effective and should be avoided. It is critical that a proper diagnosis of the cause of any type of pain be made to ensure that is properly treated.