Glossary beginning with O

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Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists (also known as OTs) can help you to do activities that, because of your MS, you may have difficulty carrying out every day. They can also suggest making changes to your physical environment, altering the way you do a task, or they can show you how to relearn to do something.

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Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps people who have difficulties with practical everyday tasks to live as independently as possible - at home, in employment or in education. Occupational therapists work in health and social care and work closely with health, housing and educational services.

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Off-label

Some treatments are used which aren’t licensed specifically for treating MS. This is known as ‘off-label’ use. For example, some antidepressants can be used for treating pain.

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Oligoclonal bands

A group of proteins found in blood serum, plasma, or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Doctors look for the presence of oligoclonal bands in the CSF in order to help diagnose MS since a majority of people with MS have them.

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Oligodendrocytes

Oligodendrocytes are cells responsible for producing the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibres, which gets damaged in a person with MS.

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Open label trial

A clinical trial where both the trial investigator and the participant know which treatment the participant is receiving.

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Optic neuritis

Optic neuritis is the name for inflammation (swelling) of the optic nerve. This is the nerve that carries messages from your eyes to your brain. Effects vary, and can range from blurred vision in one or both eyes to complete loss of sight. In some cases optic neuritis can be painful, particularly when you move your eyes.

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Oral treatment

A drug or treatment which can be taken by mouth, such as a tablet or capsule.

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Orthotist

Orthotists are responsible for all aspects of supplying an orthosis (devices that are fitted to an existing body part in order to improve its function or reduce pain.)

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