Multiple Sclerosis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system namely the spinal cord and the brain. It has the potential to disable a person.If a person has multiple sclerosis, the immune system goes on the offense against myelin the sheath that protects nerve fibers. This results in problems in communication between the brain and the rest of the body. In course of time, the disease causes deterioration of the nerves. The nerves may also get damaged forever.The cure for multiple sclerosis still eludes medical science. But, treatment is available that hastens the recovery of patients from attacks, keep the symptoms within manageable limits and modify how the disease plays out in the patient’s life.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
Like its cure, the cause of multiple sclerosis is yet to be determined. It is an autoimmune disease in which the myelin comes under threat from the body’s own immune system. Myelin is analogous to a coat of insulation on wires that conduct electricity. Myelin damage results in nerves vulnerable to damage and dysfunction.The exact reason why multiple sclerosis develop in some while others are spared of the ordeal is not clear. Scientists suspect a combination of genes and the environment to be the culprit behind the disease.
Risk Factors of Multiple Sclerosis
- Age- though multiple sclerosis has been found to occur in people of all ages those between 16-60 are particularly vulnerable.
- Gender- Women are two times more likely to be affected by the disease than men.
- Genetics- If a sibling or a parent has multiple sclerosis the risks of developing the disease are higher.
- Medical Conditions- Certain infectious viruses have been found to have links with multiple sclerosis. Some autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, thyroid or inflammatory bowel disease increase the risk of having the disease.
- Race of a person- White individuals particularly those who have descended from Northern Europe have the highest risks of having the disease. African, Asian and native Americans are least likely to develop the disease.
- Climate- A temperate climate encourages the development of the disease.
- Smoking- Smokers are more prone to relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis.
People with multiple sclerosis are at risk of developing the following complications:
- Stiffness or spasms of muscles.
- Paralysis particularly in the legs.
- Bowel, bladder or sexual dysfunction.
- The disease may also initiate mental changes like mood swings or proneness to forget things.
- Multiple Sclerosis- Medline Plus, Health Topics, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. medlineplus.gov 2019 [Cited 14 August 2019]. Available from:
- Multiple Sclerosis: Hope Through Research- NIH, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [Internet]. ninds.nih.gov 2019 [Cited 14 August 2019]. Available from:
- Multiple Sclerosis Information Page- NIH, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [Internet]. ninds.nih.gov 2019 [Cited 14 August 2019]. Available from:
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