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A straightforward, solid guide to a dreaded disease whose cure looks to be right around the comer. Rosner (a UCLA neurologist) and Ross describe the disease clearly and banish some misconceptions: although many of us still think of the public service slogan ""MS, the Crippler of Young Adults,"" the fact is that 75% of those who have it will never need a wheelchair. And although the actual mechanism of the disease is well understood (nervefiber cover breaks down and is replaced by scar tissues, slowing or blocking nerve signals), the cause is not; and manifestations of the disease vary widely from person to person. The authors cover signs and symptoms of the disease, and describe the diagnostic process: it can be elusive because of variance in how the disease presents, but new technologies such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scans have made diagnosis more certain. The course of the disease also varies widely; as the authors point out, some people with MS have one attack of some kind of muscle weakness, at which time the diagnosis is made--and then no recurrence for the rest of their lives. Rusher and Ross go on to discuss what treatments are available, including rehabilitation after exacerbations. There is lengthy discussion of emotional and relationship issues, which seem to affect the course of the disease. Of most interest, here, though, is the ""New Hope for a Cure."" The authors explain what the research process has been over the last few years; an enormous boost came as a result of AIDS research. Real hope for a cure soon, then; in the meantime, this offers practical help and understanding for those with the disease.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Prentice Hall Press