More Information On Multiple Sclerosis
What is it?
Multiple sclerosis, or otherwise known as MS, is actually a disease that affects the nerves of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. In MS, the central nervous system starts to degenerate.
Myelin, which is the protection and insulation for the underlying nerves, is damaged in MS. Since it is responsible for the correct transmission of messages and conduction of impulses that goes along the nerves, any form of damage to it will render the nervous system useless as it may no longer have any control over the entire body. The inflammation associated with MS cause the disappearance of the myelin, leaving the nerve fibers open and completely unprotected.
It is a sad consequence that the electrical impulses being sent along the nerves begin to decelerate and then become very slow. More nerves are damaged because of this condition and the bodys normal functioning are interfered. Normal functions controlled by the bodys nervous system like walking; memory, vision, speech and writing are greatly interfered.
Its distribution in the USA
According to statistical findings, there are more than three hundred fifty thousand people, who live in the United States of American alone, have multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis, up to now, is still an idiopathic disease which means its definite cause still remains unknown. For the last two decades, scientists and researchers have done their best in finding more about the disorders that are associated with the immune system. Moreover, many findings have indicated that multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease.
The immune system acts against its own.
The bodys immune system acts as the bodys defender against foreign and harmful substances. If there is any aggressor in the midst, the immune system acts right away, identifying the enemy and attacking the invader until the invader is either dead or weak. This whole response is greatly dependent on the proper communication between the immune cells and the production of new cells for the fight against the foreign substance.
After the myelin is damaged, some of it can be repaired as most disappear once the nerves are stripped of their myelin covering. Scarring results and particles are deposited right into the scars formed. Eventually, the forming of scars will lead to the formation of plaques.
The role of genetics is not very clear with regards to multiple sclerosis. But still, reports have determined that Eskimos, European gypsies and the African Bantus do not develop multiple sclerosis. On the other hand, the Japanese, Asians and the Native Indians of both North and South America experience multiple sclerosis but with a low incidence.
The possibility of the general population to develop MS is only one percent. However, for those who have family members, who had the disease before, or at present, increase the chance, especially if it is a first-degree relative.
A first-degree family member such as parent, sister or brother also has a one to three percent of actually having the debilitating disorder. But with twins, things become more difficult. An identical twin has a thirty percent chance of having the disease, where as the nonidentical twin gets only four percent.