‘Most patients, doctors still unaware of rare neurological disorder’

Karachi: The number of patients with a rare nervous system disorder known as “Multiple Sclerosis” is increasing in Pakistan due to advanced diagnostic facilities, but most of the patients and many doctors are still unaware of the disorder that gradually makes a young person disabled, neurologists said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on the eve of World MS Day, neurologists, including President MS Trust Prof Shaukat, President Pakistan Society of Neurology Dr Wasey Shakir and Dr Abdul Malik said multiple sclerosis was a rare disorder which affected youngsters between the age group of 10 to 20 and women were more likely to have been affected by the disease than men.
The Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN) in collaboration with the Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation (MSIF) will observe World MS Day in Pakistan, during which seminars, conferences and training workshops will be organised to create awareness about the rare neurological disorder.

They said the main symptoms of the disease were weakness, numbness, ataxia, blindness, tremors, spasticity, forgetfulness and some others and added that in most of the cases, patients with the disease and the doctors were not aware of the symptoms and due to wrong diagnosis, problems of the patients aggravated with the passage of time.

“If a patient with MS is not diagnosed and treated properly, he can become disabled within five to ten years in most of the cases, making him dependent on wheelchairs for rest of the life,” Prof Shaukat said.

Neurologists said treatment of multiple sclerosis was available in Pakistan, and, in most of the cases, patients could be treated to prevent permanent disability.

They said awareness was the key to prevent people from permanent disability due to MS and added that PSN was striving hard to make people aware of the neurological disorder, its symptoms and treatment by holding seminars, press conferences and training workshops.