Thursday, June 16, 2016
How Men and Women Experience MS Differently
Men and women experience multiple sclerosis in different ways. While MS is not a "female disease," more than three out of four people with MS are women. Not surprisingly, few studies have been published about the management of MS in men or the experiences of men with MS. Recently I attended an entire session at the 30th Annual Consortium of MS Centers Conference held at National Harbor, Maryland, June 1-4, 2016, dedicated to men and MS.
Men tend to have a more progressive onset of disease, more rapid accumulation of disability, and need help with mobility more quickly than women do. Men with MS typically have fewer relapses, but the relapses they do have are more likely to affect motor function and less likely to be sensory in nature. However, men and women tend to reach disability milestones at overall similar ages. How MS affects the brain differs in men versus women. For example, men experience a greater ratio of T2 Gd-enhancing lesions that evolve into T1 hypointense lesions (i.e., “black holes”).
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Men Experience MS Differently Than Women Do