Multiple sclerosis is a disease which attacks the myelin sheath – the fatty coating of nerve cells which is essential to the functioning of the central nervous system. Disruption to the myelin sheath interferes with the transmission of signals between the brain, the spinal chord and the peripheral nerves, resulting in difficulties for muscle control.
The cause is unknown – it could be due to genetic factors, environmental factors like infection or a combination of the two. It affects young people and is more common in females than males. More than 100,000 people are estimated to have MS in the UK, making it the most common form of disabling neurological condition among young adults.
There are different types: the most common is remitting/relapsing, where patients have an episode, then it desists, then it returns again. Primary progressive MS is 15% more aggressive and lacks a remission and relapse stage. The relapsing-remitting type can develop into secondary progressive MS, which has similar effects to the primary progressive version.
Symptoms are very variable and include pain in either or both eyes and a loss of vision; an impact on communication including talking with slurred speech; tingling and numbness; increased weakness and loss of coordination; and difficulty in bladder and bowel control. In the latter stages, patients’ swallowing and breathing are affected.
A number of tests can be performed to confirm a diagnosis of MS, including MRI scans and lumbar punctures. There is currently no cure. Disease-modifying medication can be taken which delays progression of the condition in one-third of patients, although it doesn’t alter the final outcome.
Rehabilitation has a significant role to play in the management of MS. At Circle, we are committed to re-abling clients as best we can. We consider the practicalities of returning to your own home environment, and how as a team we can prepare you for this transition and support you.
We focus discussion on your rehabilitation goals and work with you as a team towards achieving them. We give you the opportunity to direct your rehabilitation and meet with us as a team regularly.
With a strong, multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and psychologists, we provide a comprehensive rehabilitation service tailored to an individual’s needs. We are aware of national guidelines and the latest research into treatments for MS.
We offer intensive treatment with state-of-the-art equipment. The rehabilitation unit contains a Lite Gait for partial body weight mobility practice and space to use parallel bars and exercise bikes including the MOTOmed, a motor-assisted form of cycling for the upper and lower limbs. The ground floor rehabilitation gym is equipped with high-tech machines rarely available in the UK outside facilities for armed forces members or sports professionals, including the Biodex Balance System SD, DAVID spinal strengthening kit, the Hydro Physio aquatic treadmill and AlterG anti-gravity treadmill.
We can offer the following services: