KARACHI- Eminent neurologist Prof Dr Muhammad Wasay Shakir has said Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder and around 400 new cases surface every year in Pakistan.
Prof Shakir, who is also President of Pakistan Society of Neurology, was speaking at a news conference held in connection with World Multiple Sclerosis Day at Karachi Press Club. Prof Shaukat Ali, Dr Naila Ali and Dr Abdul Maalik were also present at the conference which was held under the aegis of Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN) and Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF).
Elaborating, Prof Wasay said multiple sclerosis is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system and 2.5 million people are living with the disease globally. He informed that the disease usually begins between the ages of 10 to 20. He said about 400 new cases appear each year in the country and the disease is more common among women as compared to men.
SYMPTOMS: He said common sign and symptoms of the MS are weakness, numbness, ataxia, blindness, diplopia, tremor, spasticity, dysarthria and forgetfulness. He said cause of MS is unknown but it is believed to occur as a result of some combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Senior neurologist Dr Abdul Maalik said that though treatment of MS is available in the country, it is too expensive and hence the government should provide medicines to the patients on subsidize rates.
Dr Naila Shahbaz said treatment of patients with MS at early stages was a key to prevent them from disability.
She opined that majority of doctors in Pakistan are unaware about the disease.