A Better Understanding of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory ailment condition in which the fatty myelin sheaths just about the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more prevalent in women. Multiple Sclerosis affects the capability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to commune with each other effectively.

In Multiple Sclerosis, the body’s own immune system attacks and damages the myelin. When myelin is damaged, the axons can no longer effectively carry out signals. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis.Treatments attempt to return function after an attack, prevent new attacks, and prevent disability.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

A person with MS can suffer almost any neurological symptom or sign, including changes in feeling such as loss of sensitivity or tingling, pricking or numbness, muscle weakness, clonus, muscle spasms, or difficulty in moving; difficulties with coordination and balance (ataxia); problems in speech (dysarthria) or swallowing (dysphagia), visual problems (nystagmus, optic neuritis including phosphenes, or diplopia), fatigue, acute or chronic pain, and bladder and bowel difficulties. Cognitive impairment of varying degrees and emotional symptoms of depression or unstable mood are also common

Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

Genetics: MS is not considered a hereditary disease. However, a number of genetic variations have been shown to increase the risk of developing the disease. The risk of acquiring MS is higher in relatives of a person with the disease than in the general population.

Environmental Factors: Different environmental causes, both of infectious and non-infectious origin have been proposed as risk factors for MS. MS is more common in people who live farther from the equator, although many exceptions exist. Decreased sunlight exposure has been linked with a higher risk of MS. Decreased vitamin D production and intake has been the main biological mechanism used to explain the higher risk among those less exposed to the sun.

Infection: Many microbes have been projected as potential infectious triggers of MS. Indication for viruses as a cause includes the presence of oligoclonal bands in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of most people with MS, the relationship between several viruses with human demyelination encephalomyelitis, and simulations of demyelination in animals through viral infection. 

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