What can be expected with end-stage multiple sclerosis?

Final stages

Someone diagnosed with MS often is stable for long periods, can decline, and then stabilize again. Ultimately, the person dies from complications related to the advancing disease. In many diseases of the nervous system deteriorating respiratory function usually brings on the final decline. This may be related to shallow and inefficient breathing, which can lead to complications such as pneumonia. Shortness of breath and respiratory secretions often need to be controlled. Pain medications and sometimes sedatives may help people who are short of breath. Oxygen may be used if it’s available. Medications may help decrease secretions if this becomes a source of discomfort or distress. Certain symptoms may limit the methods available to administer medications. One option is through a feeding tube, if a tube is already in place. Another option is sublingualadministration, if swallowing ability and secretions allow it. Subcutaneous administration of medications can also be considered.

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