Interesting Facts About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease for which there is still no cure.

Interesting facts about multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. This chronic disease can have different courses, which means that each case can develop differently. Learn more about multiple sclerosis today  .

Myelin is a protective covering that surrounds the nerve fibers in order to isolate them and to guarantee the rapid transmission of electrical signals. However, in multiple sclerosis, the myelin sheath is damaged in various places in the central nervous system, which leads to various malfunctions in the body.

Interesting facts about multiple sclerosis

The disease affects more women than men,  it is a disease of the Caucasian race, which is why it is widespread in Europe. It usually begins between the ages of 20 and 40 and follows a geographical scheme.

Multiple sclerosis is more common in countries far from the equator. That explains why it is more common in northern countries. It is believed that a “Viking gene” is hidden behind it, which was spread in other countries through the voyages of the Vikings.

However, if you emigrate to a tropical country before the age of 15, the likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis is relatively low, but if you emigrate afterwards, the country no longer has any influence.

Interesting facts about multiple sclerosis

Recent research on multiple sclerosis shows that the environment has a huge impact on the disease. Vitamin D and heat protect against this, which the geographical distribution also shows.

How does the disease come about?

Multiple sclerosis is genetically associated with the human leukocyte antigens HLA – DR2 and HLA DQ. It is a very complex disease in which various factors play a role. The interaction of genetic predisposition and environmental factors has long been considered the cause of this disease.

Medical signs in MS

Neurological symptoms

The most common symptoms (61%) relate to sensitivity. This means that you can have the feeling, for example, that many small ants are crawling over one part of the body (paresthesia), or that you can hardly feel anything in a part of the body (hypesthesia).

In addition, it often happens that the disease begins with what is known as optic neuritis. This is a condition where your vision becomes blurry and it hurts to move your eyes. This can lead to one-sided blindness – in this case multiple sclerosis should never be ruled out. In addition, however, double vision can also occur.

Other signs that often occur in addition to visual problems are weakness and motor coordination problems . These are triggered due to violations of the pyramidal system.

more about multiple sclerosis

Meanwhile, other symptoms such as impotence and a constant urge to urinate appear in the medullary lesions Lhermitte’s mark may also appear in the cervical lesions. It feels like electric shocks when you move your head.

Articulation problems can also occur with a cerebral lesion. In this case, coordination can deteriorate, causing tremors and uncontrolled movements.

In later stages of the disease, neurological dysfunctions such as memory loss can also become noticeable. As a result, sudden mood swings, euphoria and inhibitions are other side effects.

When we talk about multiple sclerosis, it should be remembered that the shock of the diagnosis leads to depression in many patients.

Course of disease

With multiple sclerosis, the following scheme can occur:

  • Repetitive pattern : 85% of those affected follow this pattern. There are many outbreaks here with no after-effects, but they calm down after a while.
  • Secondary progressive pattern : In some cases, symptoms only start to develop properly after a few outbreaks.
  • Primary progressive pattern : 10% of the time, the signs increase exponentially. Unfortunately, the prognosis in this scheme is not particularly promising.
  • Progressive pattern – recurring : This pattern only occurs in about 5% of the cases. Here the disease has taken a progressive course since it broke out. So there are outbreaks that are then outpaced by even larger outbreaks.
on multiple sclerosis in older women

diagnosis

The diagnosis is usually made in a hospital. There are also two other decisive requirements:

  • Symptoms must have occurred at least twice with a period of at least one month between them (temporal spread).
  • There must be at least 2 different lesions (spatial spread). This could be, for example, a feeling of numbness in the leg and a simultaneous one-sided blindness.

    In order to be able to make a correct diagnosis, some tests are carried out for this.

    Analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

    Normal cerebrospinal fluid is completely transparent and contains no cells. But the CSF of a person with multiple sclerosis has the following characteristics:

    • Increase in lymphocytes and all proteins
    • Increase in Ig G in almost 80% of the cases

    Recognition potentials

    This technique can measure the speed of the sensory paths. If an electrical conduction is found that is slow to transmit the neurons, it can be assumed that a demyelinated lesion is present.

    A doctor can also recognize this, so hospitalization is not absolutely necessary. Nowadays one can measure the visual cues to get information about multiple sclerosis.

    MRI (magnetic resonance)

    This test makes the best diagnoses. With just one pass, the experts can see:

    • The number of lesions
    • The spatial expansion
    • The temporary spread (the latter lesions are crucial here)
    more about multiple sclerosis and MRI

    Magnetic resonance imaging shows “Dawson’s fingers,” a pattern of plaques in the brain that look like fingers. These lesions are very typical of multiple sclerosis.

    treatment

    Multiple sclerosis is still incurable, but there are several treatments that can improve the patient’s quality of life:

    • On the one hand, it can calm down symptoms  that appear with the outbreaks of the disease.
    • On the other hand, the development of the disease can be slowed down. 

    There are also drugs that can be used to treat the symptoms.

    • Very high doses of corticosteroids can be used to treat certain breakouts. Treatment, however, depends on the extent of the outbreak.
    • Immunomodulators can help alleviate the course of the disease. Glatiramer Acetate and Beta Interferon  are the most commonly used drugs here because they are the most effective that exist to date. Then come natalizumab and fingolimod .

    In addition, the high rate of depression among those affected explains why accompanying therapy by an experienced psychologist is so important. 

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