Multiple Sclerosis is an immune-mediated chronic disease affecting the central nervous system, especially the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. It is characterized by demyelination, inflammation, and axonal damage of the cells in the central nervous system.  

Types/symptoms 

The most common type of multiple sclerosis is relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), affecting approximately 85% of people with multiple sclerosis. People with RRMS have relapses known as the periods when the symptoms appear. They usually last for a few days followed by the period of remission.  
 
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis might vary from person to person and change or fluctuate over time. Here are the symptoms of the disease observed in most patients:  

– Fatigue. This symptom occurs in about 80% of patients and interferes with the ability to function at work and home. In most cases, it is one of the first and most prominent signs of multiple sclerosis.  
– Walking difficulties. It becomes hard for a person to walk and to keep the balance. He starts experiencing tightness in muscles, spasticity (muscle spasms), and a lack of coordination. 
– Vision problems. Many patients with multiple sclerosis report blurred vision, pain on eye movement, color blindness, and poor contrast. Often, problems with vision are one of the early signs of the disorder.  
– Bladder dysfunction. This symptom is reported by over 80% of patients. It is characterized by frequent or urgent urination, hesitancy in starting urination, and the development of various urinary tract infections. 
– Cognitive changes. Patients with multiple sclerosis lose the ability to process incoming information, solve problems, make decisions, and accurately perceive the environment. 
– Emotional changes. They include depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, episodes of uncontrollable crying or laughing, and others. 

Etiology 

The exact cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown. However, there are several factors that have been suggested as possible causes of multiple sclerosis, including: 
– Genes; 
– Lack of vitamin D and sunlight; 
– Teenage obesity; 
– Smoking; 
– Viral infections.  
It is also necessary to point out that women are 2-3 times more likely to have multiple sclerosis than men.  

Glossary of terms 

Demyelination – a pathological process characterized by destruction of the myelin sheath 
 
Myelin – the material in the central nervous system wrapping around axons.  
 
Autoimmune Disease – the process in which the immune system of the body mistakenly produces antibodies to attack the normal tissues.  
 
Axon – a nerve fiber carrying information from the nerve cell to other nerve cells. 

You must be logged in to post a comment