These common symptoms may develop or worsen during the final stages of MS:
vision problems, including blurriness or blindness
difficulty with coordination and balance
problems with walking and standing
feelings of numbness, prickling, or pain
partial or complete paralysis
problems with concentration, attention, memory, and judgment
How hospice care can help A person in the final stages of MS — or any other serious illness — can qualify for hospice care if they have a life expectancy of sixth months or less. Hospice focuses on relieving symptoms and enhancing comfort, so the patient can have the best possible quality of life each day. It provides a wide range of physical, social, emotional and spiritual supports to both patients and families.
People can receive hospice care wherever they are living: at home, in a nursing or assisted living facility, or in the hospital. In addition, some hospice organizations (including Samaritan) operate inpatient hospice centers. These are homelike facilities that provide around-the-clock hospice care to patients with more complex needs.
Care is provided by a team of trained professionals and volunteers, with 24/7 access to caregivers as needed. Most health insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, cover hospice.
When is it time for hospice? Many people with MS live for years with significant health challenges, and there is no exact way to determine a person’s prognosis. Nevertheless, certain issues can indicate that it’s time to seek hospice support, including:
Complications During Multiple Sclerosis’s Final Stages
significant breathing difficulties
substantial changes in thinking or functioning abilities
multiple ICU (intensive care unit) stays and shorter periods of stability
hospitalizations that lead to infections
urinary tract infections that trigger sepsis (a dangerous response by the body to infection)
severe lack of nutrition
severe (stage 4) pressure sores
other life-threatening complications
If you live in South Jersey and have questions about the final stages of multiple sclerosis or hospice care for your loved one, please call Samaritan at (855) 337-2808.
Pathology of multiple sclerosis
from Wikipedia Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be pathologically defined as the presence of distributed glial scars (sclerosis or scleroses, in its plural
form) in the central nervous system that must show dissemination in time (DIT) and in space (DIS) to be considered MS lesions.
The scars that give the name to the condition are produced by the astrocyte cells healing old lesions. These glial scars are the
remainings of previous demyelinating inflammatory lesions (encephalomyelitis disseminata) which are produced by one or more unknown underlying
Apart of the disseminated lesions that define the condition, the CNS white matter shows normally other kind of damages. At least five
characteristics are present in CNS tissues of MS patients: Inflammation beyond classical white matter lesions (NAWM, NAGM), intrathecal Ig
production with oligoclonal bands, an environment fostering immune cell persistence, Follicle-like aggregates in the meninges (B-cells mostly
infected with EBV) and a disruption of the blood–brain barrier even outside of active lesions.
Confluent subpial cortical lesions are the most specific finding for MS, being exclusively present in MS patients. Though this feature
can only be detected during an autopsy there are some subrogate markers under study Damage in MS consists also in areas with hidden damage
(normal appearing white and gray matters) and two kinds of cortical lesions: Neuronal loss and cortical demyelinating lesions. The neural loss is
the result of neural degeneration from lesions located in the white matter areas and the cortical demyelinating lesions are related to meningeal
The scars in the white matter are known to appear from confluence of smaller ones
Currently the term "multiple sclerosis" is ambiguous and refers not only to the presence of the scars, but also to the unknown underlying
condition that produces these scars. Besides clinical diagnosis uses also the term "multiple sclerosis" for speaking about the related clinical
courses. Therefore, when referring to the presence of the scars is better to use the equivalent term astrocytic fibrillary gliosis.
Today IS the very first day of the rest of your life.