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Central Nervous System & Multiple Sclerosis - MS

Central Nervous System and Multiple Sclerosis, MS is a condition which affects the CNS - Is it Autoimmune in origin? Yes - how does this affect our bodies? And what is happening? - With MS our bodies Immune system mistakes part of the body for a foreign substance and attacks it. The inflammation disrupts the messages travelling along the nerves. It can slow them down, muddle them, send them the wrong way, or stop them from getting through completely. This leads to the symptoms of MS. When the inflammation stops or the body’s antibodies stop attacking in an acute. The result will be, scarring or demyelination of the myelin sheath (sclerosis). These attacks if frequent and repeated, can eventually lead to permanent damage to the underlying nerves.

Types of MS - Pattern of condition

MS is divided into three types of disease pattern; relapsing- remitting; primary progressive and secondary progressive.

· Relapsing-remitting; the most common pattern of the disease (85%) of people diagnosed have this type. It is characterised by periods of exacerbation of symptoms (relapses) followed by unpredictable periods of stability (remission). The severity and frequency of relapses varies between patients (average occur once or twice per year). This clinical pattern often develops into secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis, with progressive disability unrelated to relapses. Most patients develop secondary progressive disease 6–10 years after onset.

· Primary-progressive; multiple sclerosis follows a gradual course, with the development of symptoms that worsen over time, without relapses and remissions.

· Secondary- progressive; This is when the relapsing and remitting MS, gets steadily worse. Relapsing is likely to stop however the symptoms in general will all get progressively worse. Secondary progressive MS is said to ‘be hard to diagnose'. The differentiation between them is that secondary progressive MS is different against primary progressive is, progressive from the beginning. This type of MS is usually diagnosed in people in their forties or fifties but it can be diagnosed earlier or later than this.

Some Possible factors which have been linked to contribute to MS

  • lack of Vitamin D, MS is more common in countries with a small hour of light such as the higher rates in Scotland than other places in Europe. Geographically; you are more likely to develop MS in developed countries that may be related to lifestyle and diet factors such as low fat, high carb diets, high sugar and inflammatory environmental triggers

  • Smoking - you are twice as likely to develop MS.

  • Viral infections - such as EBV, measles, herpes, has been linked to over stimulating the immune system causing several autoimmune conditions. Mercury amalgam fillings; there have been studies to show this may led to inflammation in the body. Inflammatory conditions

  • Having one autoimmune condition can lead to having another as the immune system attacks the body, research shows that most people will develop an average of three autoimmune conditions if they have one.

  • Genes - MS is not seen as a genetic condition however you are 3% more likely to develop MS if you have a direct family member diagnosed however this may have more to do with life styles choices (or epigenetic) than genetics.

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