Disturbing figures of MS in Iran

May 25, 2016 - 9:33

TEHRAN – Iran stands first in the rise of Multiple Sclerosis among other states in the Middle East, the vice president of Iranian MS Society reported on Monday.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex neurological disorder most likely caused by gene–environment interactions.

On the occasion of World MS Day, on May 25, Mohammad Ali Sahraeian told IRNA based on the latest statistics, 65,000 to 70,000 Iranians are affected by MS, equivalent to affecting 115 people out of every 100 thousand.

Reportedly, he said, out of this population, many have yet to come for treatment.

The “disease is more prevalent this year compared to last year.”

Isfahan has the highest incidence of MS, while the Sistan and Baluchestan Province holds the lowest, he further said.

According to some reports, Sahraeian explained, in 2008 in Tehran, out of every 100 thousand residents, 50 were affected, while the number in 2001 was 73, in 2014  came to 101 and in 2015 reached 115, displaying a rising trend of the disease.

Sahraeian, who is also a professor at the University of Tehran, said 80 percent of MS population is between the ages of 18-50, adding that children also get affected by the disease but not at the rate adults do. 

There have been numerous theories and extensive debates on the causative mechanisms of MS.

Viral cause is still considered as a possible hypothesis. The Western lifestyle that is being duplicated by the youth in the region these days may be related with MS as well if the viral cause is to be considered. Environmental factors such as different types of pollutions in this vulnerable region (which has undergone several major wars in the past decade) may also play a role. The stress caused by the unstable geopolitical situation in the region may also trigger an earlier age of onset.

In children, the symptoms of MS pretty much resemble those in adults, therefore, families should be aware of warning signs of the disease, and take their children immediately to neurologists.

The professor listing the early symptoms of the disease as: blurred or double vision, thinking problems, clumsiness or a lack of coordination, loss of balance, numbness, and tingling sensation, advised all to take these symptoms seriously.

Good nutrition and consumption of healthy food can be effective in disease prevention, he said.

Overall, physicians recommend people that they avoid greasy fast food and instead substitute fruit and vegetables for it.

Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, physical therapy and medications can help with symptoms and slow disease progression.


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