Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

1. What does MS stand for? * Multiple sclerosis

2. What is MS caused by? * Immunologic: MS is considered an immune-mediated disease as the immune system malfunctions and attacks the CNS * Genetic: Several genes are believed to play a role in MS. Your chance of developing MS is slightly higher if a close relative has the disease. If one parent has MS, the risk of their children getting the disease is estimated to be between 2% and 5%. Scientists believe that people with MS are born with a genetic susceptibility to react to certain environmental agents. An autoimmune response is triggered when they encounter these agents. * Environmental: Vitamin D benefits the function of the immune system. People who live near the equator are exposed to more sunlight. As a result, their bodies produce more vitamin D. Since MS is considered an immune-mediated disease, vitamin D and sunlight exposure may be linked. * Infections: Viruses are known to cause inflammation and a breakdown of myelin. Therefore, it’s possible that a virus could trigger MS. Several viruses and bacteria are being investigated to determine if they’re involved in the development of MS. These include: * Measles virus * Human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6) * Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

3. What are the symptoms of MS? * Muscular spasms and problems with – weakness, coordination, balance and functioning of the arms and legs * Fatigue –heat sensitivity * Other neurological symptoms –vertigo, pins and needles, neuralgia and visual disturbances * Continence problems –bladder incontinence and constipation * Neuropsychological symptoms – memory loss, depression and cognitive difficulties

4. How is MS treated? * Corticosteroids: prescribed to reduce nerve inflammation. Side effects may include insomnia, increased blood pressure,…...

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