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Selma Blair opens up about her multiple sclerosis diagnosis

Everything to know about the debilitating disease.

By Alex Lilly
Hollywood actress Selma Blair has shared a raw and candid post explaining her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The star of the upcoming Netflix series Harper Glass revealed that the show's costume designer not only designs the clothes she wears, but has also helped to dress her.
"I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps," the star revealed via Instagram.
"And I laugh and I don't know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best."

The Cruel Intentions star revealed she was diagnosed with the condition in August though it's thought she has had the incurable disease for at least 15 years.
"I have had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve," she wrote.
Selma also revealed she wants to give hope to herself and others suffering.
"You can't get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don't have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse," the 46 year-old continued.
"I have MS and I am ok. But if you see me, dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges."
But what do we really know about this disease?
WATCH: Selma Blair opens up about her psychotic outburst in 2016. Post continues...

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease that occurs when the immune system attacks and damages the protective sheath around the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, known as myelin.
As the brain sends electrical messages to the rest of the body, when there is damage to the myelin, this leads to scars or lesions in the nervous system. This then means that these messages can't be sent around the body properly.
According to MS Australia, over two million people around the world and over 25,000 people in Australia are affected by MS and it usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.
Women are more likely to be at risk as well, with roughly three times as many women diagnosed as men.

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

MS is notoriously unpredictable and symptoms can differ greatly. However some of the more common ones include:
  • Motor control such as muscular spasms, weakness, lack of coordination, balance and poor functioning of the arms and legs
  • Fatigue (sometimes heat can make symptoms worse)
  • Other neurological symptoms such as vertigo, pins and needles, neuralgia and visual disturbances
  • Continence problems including bladder incontinence and constipation
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
If any of these symptoms concern you, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
MS affects the central nervous system and affects over 25,000 people in Australia (Image: Getty Images)

Is there a cure?

Currently, there is no cure for MS. However, depending on the type of the disease, there are ways of managing and treating it.
For those with relapsing remitting MS, the most common form, there are now 12 disease modifying therapies available in Australia. People are also being diagnosed earlier, and their long term outcomes have improved significantly with MS Research Australia saying that certain disability milestones are being reached almost eight years later on average.
However, people with progressive MS have fewer treatment options and are still likely to experience considerable disability.
Aside from medicines to control the symptoms, research has found that regular exercise, physiotherapy and occupational therapy as well as a balanced diet low in fat and high in fibre can also help to alleviate certain symptoms.