Introducing, Selma Blair trailer
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Ms Blair was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August 2018 but announced it publicly in October that year. Just days after her first public announcement, she was pictured walking up a red carpet after the Oscars with a cane.
But this summer, the actress, who is famous for her roles in Hellboy, Cruel Intentions and Legally blond, announced that her “prognosis is great” and that she was “in remission” a year after receiving hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT).
MS is a disease of the brain and spinal cord that causes the immune system to attack your nerve fibres.
As part of the disease, sufferers develop lesions, also called plaques, which are areas of damage or scarring on the brain and spinal cord.
“It took about a year after stem cell for the inflammation and lesions to really go down, so I was reluctant to talk about it because I felt this need to be more healed,” Blair told a Television Critics association panel.
“I don’t have any new lesions forming.”
It is these lesions that cause recognisable MS symptoms such as muscle weakness and spasms, numbness in your face and a loss of coordination.
HSCT is not a cure for MS but a treatment which can be used to stabilise the condition. It works by rebuilding the cells in your immune system using stem cells from your bone marrow to prevent them from attacking your nerves.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t regenerate damaged nerves, according to the MS society.
Despite her improvements, Ms Blair suggested that there were still “glitches” in her body.
“Cognitively, I’m very changed and that’s been the harder part,” Blair said.
People with the condition go through remissions and relapses. During a period of remission, symptoms “partly” or “completely” go away according to John Hopkins medicine. And during periods of relapse, symptoms worsen.
According to the MS Society, HSCT can reduce the relapses although they state “these improvements don’t always last”.
Blair said that she had been suffering from MS symptoms for awhile but was surprised when she was able to put a name to her symptoms.
“I’ve been carrying around some sort of chronic illness, either building up or had for a long time, so it wasn’t a surprise to me.”
In a recent social media post, the star opened up about the first time she developed MS symptoms–when she was doing a fashion catwalk of all places.
“Three years ago. My dearest two pals came to watch the Siriano show. I walked that day. In the show.
“Noticing for the first time, my leg was numb. When I first stepped out. I couldn’t feel the ground or how to lift my left leg.
“My brain was trying to compute. As I walked the runway, stunned. It hardly dampened my day though.”
There are several causes of MS, including genetics, lack of sunlight and vitamin D.
It can also be caused by smoking, which doubles the risk of getting MS as well as viral infections such as the Epstein-Barr Virus, responsible for glandular fever, according to the NHS.
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