Health Tips and Wellness Tips

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common Neurological disease in North American Adults. It also affects people in other parts of the world, mostly people in similar climates as North America like in the UK. Multiple Sclerosis is usually diagnosed in people ages twenty to forty and is twice as common in women as in men.

 

Multiple Sclerosis is probably an autoimmune disease since in MS the immune system attacks the body. The part of the body which is affected by this attack is the myelin which is the insulation which protects nerve fibers. When the myelin is damaged, it leaves the nerve fibers exposed which in turn causes problems in people with Multiple Sclerosis. This process where the myelin and the axons are damaged is referred to as demyelination. From this demyelination, plaques or permanent scars are formed. The term Multiple Sclerosis comes signifies first of all, the many areas of inflammation and also demyelination of the nervous system. Multiple also refers to the repetition over time of neurological symptoms. The word Sclerosis means scarring and in this case refers to the appearance of the brain and spinal cord and the plaque that has been left over the course of the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis is a very unpredictable disease. A person who has MS may be diagnosed and live a full life with little or no disability. Other people are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and become severely disabled. The sad thing about MS is there is no cure. The disease’s cause, has not yet been uncovered. Researchers have suspicions about the cause of Multiple Sclerosis but unfortunately none of their theories have been proven. For this reason people who have Multiple Sclerosis have to live their lives depending on medications and mobility aids. In the past ten years there have been medications developed which researchers and neurologists hope will slow down the progression of MS. These medications may help people who are in the early stages of the disease but for those who have already progressed, these therapies will not help.