20 September 2013

Do not confuse multiple sclerosis with senile

That 's how absent - minded
Multiple sclerosis is not a senile disease.
It also affects the young and able-bodied, and even childrenIrina Krasnopolskaya, Rossiyskaya Gazeta

An international forum dedicated to multiple sclerosis and neuroinfections was held in Kazan. Why does multiple sclerosis mainly affect people of the most working age, even very young? What should be done to avoid the disease, and if it does overtake - where to go? The RG columnist talks about this with the chairman of the Russian Committee of Multiple Sclerosis Researchers, Professor Alexey Boyko.

– Alexey Nikolaevich, at the word "sclerosis" you immediately think about memory problems, about the inability to concentrate. And, of course, that sclerosis is an almost obligatory companion of age. But multiple sclerosis affects mainly people of the most able-bodied age, even very young. So what is this sclerosis and why is it diffuse?

Alexey Boyko: Multiple sclerosis is a special disease mainly of young people. It is associated with the formation of foci in brain tissues, which are then transformed into sclerotic changes. And this has nothing to do with atherosclerosis, memory impairment, or age. Nowadays it is one of the most socially significant diseases of the nervous system. They used to lead to early disability.

"And now?" Judging by what the congress participants talked about, this disease is catching up with a huge number of people around the world. What is the reason for this?

Alexey Boyko: There are now more than three million people in the world suffering from multiple sclerosis. This is one of the diseases of civilization. And if earlier those who were overtaken by this disease had a risk of a short life, now, thanks to the successes of modern medicine, it has become possible not only to reduce the aggressiveness of the disease, but also to ensure a high quality of a long, full life.

– On the eve of the Congress in Kazan, I was at a meeting with English scientists who said that diseases of the nervous system began to outpace the eternal leaders – cardiovascular and oncological ailments. Is that true?

Alexey Boyko: I don't have such data. It is important that all diseases related to immunity in one way or another are becoming more common. And multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. The fact is that our immune system and nervous system mutually regulate each other. And violation of this interaction leads to pathological changes.

– At the Congress, first of all, the issues of diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, neuroinfections similar to it, and the experience of their specialized treatment were discussed...

Alexey Boyko: You're right. And this is not accidental – it is the basis of modern personalized medicine.

– The forum was initiated by the All-Russian Society of Neurologists and the Russian Society of Multiple Sclerosis Researchers. And in the congress hall, it sometimes seemed that there were more foreign participants than Russians.

Alexey Boyko: More than 300 neurologists from all regions of Russia participated in the Congress. There are many representatives of Tatarstan – there is a very strong school of neurologists here, special attention is paid to this problem. And there were equally many speakers – leading experts in this field from Russia and more than 30 leading world experts who came from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Iran, Turkey, Poland. All of them are heads of the largest neurological clinics in their countries. Everyone has a rich experience of scientific and practical work in this field. Therefore, the exchange of views was mutually interesting.

– Howard Weiner's speech from the USA was very vivid both in content and form.

Anatoly Boyko: Howard Weiner is the head of the neurological clinic at Harvard Medical School. It is one of the most reputable institutions in the world in our field. Weiner's report was devoted to the peculiarities of modern diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, an individual approach to treatment.

– His speech was met with applause, but it also raised a lot of questions. Why?

Alexey Boyko: Because all the drugs that are used to treat multiple sclerosis are highly specific. They affect the mechanism of development of the pathological process and can act only in cases of accurate diagnosis and individual selection of drugs. This is now the most important problem of treating multiple sclerosis worldwide. Because the earlier you start adequate treatment, the better the result. But we must remember that all these drugs cost a lot of money.

– That is why, often after another speech about treatment methods, questions were asked from the audience about the availability and cost of the proposed therapy. This is a very painful problem that cannot be solved at congresses. Alexey Nikolaevich, you are the chief neurologist of the Moscow Health Department. You know the situation with this disease both in Moscow and in Russia. How do you assess the contribution of Russian doctors to solving this problem?

Alexey Boyko: There are at least 150 thousand patients with multiple sclerosis in Russia. There are more patients with chronic neuroinfections. And if ten years ago we only received the results of studies in other countries, now no new method of treating multiple sclerosis is being studied without the participation of Russian specialists. We have significant progress in the study of hereditary predisposition to the disease, the mechanisms of development of the disease, chronic neuroinfections.

– No discoveries are made on forums, even the most representative ones. But each meeting of scientists and practitioners contributes to the effectiveness of specialized care. What benefits did this forum bring?

Alexey Boyko: The exchange of opinions and experience is very important. For example, Russian clinics presented the experience of using cheaper domestic biosimilars of foreign drugs. They presented their approaches to the diagnosis of neuroinfections, which are less common than ours in European countries.

- why?

Alexey Boyko: Yes, because the country is huge, there are ticks in one place, special microorganisms in another, and so on. And there are so many different genetic features of the immune system. Here, not only multiple sclerosis has a place to turn around, but also all kinds of neuroinfections. They need to be recognized at the time and understand that this is not multiple sclerosis, but neuroinfection, which means that absolutely different treatment is required.

– Your advice: what should be done to avoid the disease, and if it does overtake - where to go? What to do?

Alexey Boyko: Let me remind you, multiple sclerosis is not the lot of elderly and senile people. It can begin to develop even in children. It is no accident that the topic of multiple sclerosis in children was so vigorously discussed at the congress. And so. If you notice various neurological disorders in yourself or your child, for example, a sharp decrease in vision, weakness in the arms or legs, impaired sensitivity, coordination of movements, go to the doctor urgently. So that specialists can understand the causes of such violations. In Russia, there are two problems with medicine: self-diagnosis and self-medication. Remember, multiple sclerosis is now being treated. This is not a verdict. And our Congress has confirmed this once again.

Blitz interviewHoward Weiner, the head of the neurological clinic at Harvard Medical School, spoke not only about science, but also about the fatality of terrorism.

And at the end of his brilliant report that his laboratory is working on creating a vaccine against multiple sclerosis, Mr. Weiner said: "I want to end my speech with the word "hope". I hope for a bright life."

– Dr. Weiner! When to expect the appearance of a vaccine against multiple sclerosis?

Howard Weiner: I think it will appear within the next five to ten years.

– This is your second time in Russia. How do you assess the state of our neurology?

Howard Weiner: Very promising research is being conducted in Russia. I believe that we have adequate approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Financing is different.

– You spoke about the death of terrorism, about the hope for a brighter life. Your clinic is working on creating a vaccine against sclerosis. Is a vaccine possible against terrorism?

Howard Weiner: I'm not a politician. I'm a doctor. Terrorism is not a brain condition. It's a scary mentality. It needs to be changed, it needs to be changed.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru20.09.2013

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