Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (College of Nursing)
Associate Professor Joanna Patching
Professor Steve Vucic
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex neurological disease affecting the central nervous system and is driven by a complex autoimmune cascade. The peak age of onset is between the ages of 20 and 40 years and shows a female preponderance of 3:1. The most common form of the disease affecting 85% of people living with the illness is called relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), and is characterised by unpredictable relapses or exacerbations which usually last a few weeks before returning to baseline function. There is the possibility of disease progression and non-reversible disability after many years. RRMS is also characterised by a complicated array of symptoms which may affect sensory function, motor function, vision, gait, cognition, mood, bladder, bowel and sexual function. There is currently no curative treatment for RRMS, although recently there have been major advances in more efficacious treatments called disease modifying therapies (DMTs) to control relapses and possibly future disability.
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