Multiple Sclerosis and the Body
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The immune system attacks the protective sheath around the nerves, which then causes a reduced or loss to bodily functions. Treatments for MS vary per person and symptoms each person experiences. It is unknown as to why MS affects some people, and not others.
Multiple Sclerosis affects the Central Nervous System by attacking the part of the CNS that remits and retains information (citation). The brain and spinal cord are a part of the CNS that is often times affected by the disease. The body’s defense attacks the myelin, which is a fatty substance that surrounds and protects the CNS.
The CNS receives sensory input from internal and external environments. The CNS integrates input while responding to stimuli. However, the MS disease slows down the reaction and movement within the CNS.
It is not known as to why MS affects some people, however, it is thought that genetics and illnesses that are dormant may cause an onset (citation). Environment also plays a role in the onset of MS. Some doctors have discovered that a slow-acting virus may lay dormant in the body and cause the symptoms of MS (citation). Does the virus have a name?
Symptoms vary for each person, however, often times one will feel a numbness in limbs, have a spell of dizziness or vertigo or feel fatigue (citation). Double vision or loss of vision in one eye may also be a sign of a symptom.
While treatments are still being tested, which one that is currently out that will work depends on the person. There are corticosteroids that reduce the inflammation that spikes during relapses. “ABC” drugs are often taken on a daily or weekly basis (citation). “ABC” drugs are Avonex, Bestaseron/Betaferon and Copaxone. They help to block the attacking of white blood cells to the myelin. And another treatment is a Disease Modifying Treatment (DMT) which is self-injected medication that is administered daily or weekly (citation).
There is no known prevention for MS, but there is a way to control it. Watching for symptoms and seeing a doctor and specialists can help one get treatment early on. Doctors are