By Robert Groth
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects your central nervous system. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks parts of your body as if they’re foreign. These attacks may be linked to environmental factors such as viruses.
In multiple sclerosis, the body mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, a fatty substance that insulates nerve cells, or neurons, in your brain or spinal cord. This myelin sheath helps the neurons to carry electrical signals carrying information between parts of the body. These electrical signals are also how the brain controls the rest of the body. The interference with the signals results in a variety of symptoms.
As these causes attacks on the myelin sheath, inflammation and injury occur. This results in scarring (sclerosis) of the myelin sheath, further complicating the disease. These scars can be seen through brain imaging such as an MRI. It is hard to diagnose in the early stages. It is most often diagnosed to young people between the ages of twenty and forty. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed as men.
Multiple sclerosis is very unpredictable, and affects everyone differently. In some people it is a mild illness, and can be controlled through diet and environmental factors. For others, it can lead to permanent disabilities. Some people respond well to treatments, which may relieve symptoms and lead to a type of remission. Others may not be affected by treatment at all, while a few may suffer negative results from medication.
While much is known about how it causes damage, not much is known about the cause of the disease. While several risk factors have been identified, researchers still do not know how much they really contribute to the disease. There is no known cure for this.
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Robert Groth, author and speaker was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990. Receive more information and a free inspirational daily email on how you can beat multiple sclerosis at www.beatmultiplesclerosis.com
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