Multiple Sclerosis

A new pathway discovered regulating autoimmune diseases

The main function of the immune system is to protect against diseases and infections. For unknown reasons our immune system attacks healthy cells, tissues and organs in a process called autoimmunity, which can result in diseases ...

Oct 07, 2014
popularity 4.9 / 5 (20) | comments 0

Scientists discover pain receptor on T-cells

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that T-cells – a type of white blood cell that learns to recognize and attack microbial pathogens – are activated by a pain receptor.

Oct 05, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (11) | comments 1

Study says hope inspires MS treatment abroad

When Canadians lose faith in the ability of their caregivers to offer them the latest treatment options for their diseases, they increasingly turn to new caregivers abroad. A Simon Fraser University research ...

Oct 03, 2014
popularity not rated yet | comments 1

Counting the seconds for immunological tolerance

Our immune system must distinguish between self and foreign and in order to fight infections without damaging the body's own cells at the same time. The immune system is loyal to cells in the body, but how ...

Oct 02, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (5) | comments 0

Scientists aim to give botox a safer facelift

New insights into botulinum neurotoxins and their interactions with cells are moving scientists ever closer to safer forms of Botox and a better understanding of the dangerous disease known as botulism. By comparing all known ...

Oct 01, 2014
popularity not rated yet | comments 0

Sport can help multiple sclerosis patients

A study developed at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (Spain) has preliminarily concluded that people with multiple sclerosis may reduce perceived fatigue and increase mobility through a series of ...

Oct 01, 2014
popularity not rated yet | comments 0

Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated to MS, known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women. It has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot.

MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other effectively. Nerve cells communicate by sending electrical signals called action potentials down long fibers called axons, which are contained within an insulating substance called myelin. In MS, the body's own immune system attacks and damages the myelin. When myelin is lost, the axons can no longer effectively conduct signals. The name multiple sclerosis refers to scars (scleroses—better known as plaques or lesions) particularly in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord, which is mainly composed of myelin. Although much is known about the mechanisms involved in the disease process, the cause remains unknown. Theories include genetics or infections. Different environmental risk factors have also been found.

Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. MS takes several forms, with new symptoms occurring either in discrete attacks (relapsing forms) or slowly accumulating over time (progressive forms). Between attacks, symptoms may go away completely, but permanent neurological problems often occur, especially as the disease advances.

There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatments attempt to return function after an attack, prevent new attacks, and prevent disability. MS medications can have adverse effects or be poorly tolerated, and many patients pursue alternative treatments, despite the lack of supporting scientific study. The prognosis is difficult to predict; it depends on the subtype of the disease, the individual patient's disease characteristics, the initial symptoms and the degree of disability the person experiences as time advances. Life expectancy of people with MS is 5 to 10 years lower than that of the unaffected population.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Even depressed people believe that life gets better

Adults typically believe that life gets better—today is better than yesterday was and tomorrow will be even better than today. A new study shows that even depressed individuals believe in a brighter future, but this optimistic ...

Team untangles the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the ...

Supercomputers link proteins to drug side effects

New medications created by pharmaceutical companies have helped millions of Americans alleviate pain and suffering from their medical conditions. However, the drug creation process often misses many side ...

Magnesium cuts diabetes risk

Getting enough magnesium in the diet may reduce the risk of diabetes, especially for those who already show signs of heading that way.