Your Guide to Multiple Sclerosis Treatment in India

Managing multiple sclerosis (MS) is challenging due to its complexity and because of the financial implications associated with treatment. In India, the cost of multiple sclerosis care includes medication, healthcare services, rehabilitation, and supportive therapies.

The cost of multiple sclerosis treatment in India is around USD 20,000 – USD 25,000 (INR 14,85,000 – INR 18,56,000)

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is an autoimmune disorder. It is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS). It is an unpredictable disease that affects people differently. Some MS patients may have only mild symptoms, while others may lose their ability to speak, see clearly, write, or walk when communication between the brain and other body parts gets disrupted.

In MS, the myelin (fatty tissue that surrounds and protects nerve fibers) is destroyed in many areas. This loss of myelin forms scar tissue, which is called sclerosis. When the nerves are damaged in this way, they cannot conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain.

Dr. Abhinav Raina is a popular Neurologist with over 37 years of overall experience in treating people with neurological disorders. His areas of specialization include pediatric neurology, dementia, treatment of MS, neuromuscular disorders, epilepsy management, conducting presurgical evaluation prior to refractory epilepsy, geriatric neurology, Parkinson’s disease, and other mobility issues. 

What are the Types of Multiple Sclerosis?

The following are the types of multiple sclerosis:

  • Relapsing-Remitting (RRMS): Patients have occurrences of MS symptoms, with or without recovery. Between attacks, there is no interval worsening.
  • Secondary-Progressive (SPMS): This stage comes a few years after RRMS. The pattern changes from a relapsing one to a progressive one between the attacks.
  • Primary-Progressive (PPMS): Gradual onset from the beginning without attacks.
  • Progressive-Relapsing (PRMS): This rare form of MS begins with a progressive course and later transforms into developing attacks.
  • Fulminant: A rare yet extremely severe and rapidly progressive form of MS.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Many possible causes of MS include the following:

  • Infectious agents, such as viruses
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors

What are the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?

The following are the most common symptoms of MS, but each individual may have different symptoms.

The first symptoms of MS include the following:

  • Red-green color distortion
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble walking
  • Pain/loss of vision due to optic nerve swelling
  • An abnormal pain feeling, such as numbness, prickling, or pins and needles

Other symptoms of MS may include the following:

  • Muscle weakness in the arms and legs
  • Trouble with walking or standing
  • Stiffness and spasms of muscles
  • Hearing loss
  • Fatigue
  • Tremor
  • Loss of sensation
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Speech problems
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Bowel and bladder problems

About 50% of all people with MS have cognitive issues linked to the disease. These issues may include:

  • Focusing (concentration)
  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Poor judgment

How is Multiple Sclerosis Treated?

The best treatment plan for you will be based on:

  • Your overall health, age, and past health
  • How well you can handle certain medications, treatments, or therapies
  • The length of your condition and how much it is expected to last
  • How sick you are
  • Your opinion or preference

Since there is no cure yet for MS, you can do things to help change the course of the disease, manage symptoms, treat flare-ups, and improve your function and mobility.

The treatments may include:

  • Medications
  • Equipment such as canes, braces, or walkers
  • Rehabilitation activity which may help you to:
    • Set up an exercise program to build muscle strength, endurance, and control
    • Retain functions that are important for daily living
    • Get back motor skills
    • Speak more easily
    • Relearn thinking skills
    • Manage bowel or bladder incontinence

What are the Factors Affecting the Cost of Multiple Sclerosis Treatment in India?

Some of the factors that affect the cost of multiple sclerosis treatment in India are:

  • Medication costs
  • Diagnostic and monitoring costs
  • Rehabilitation and supportive therapies
  • Doctor consultations and follow-ups

The affordable cost of multiple sclerosis treatment in India is a key consideration for many patients. If approached and treated appropriately, MS symptoms can be kept in check to a great extent. This allows the person to have the best quality of life possible and not suffer too much because of this condition. They will be able to live a more independent life and experience less stress. Knowing about a health condition you or your loved ones may be suffering from will only help to make the entire treatment process smoother.