Multiple Sclerosis

Wrapping up multiple sclerosis

With one drug to shut down its progression and another to undo its damage, plus a worldwide effort stalking the origins of multiple sclerosis, MS doesn't stand a chance.

Apr 26, 2016
popularity349 comments 0

New database for sharing MS clinical trial data

A new database containing nearly 2500 patient records from the placebo arms of nine multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trials is now available for research by qualified investigators. This is just one of the tools generated ...

Apr 25, 2016
popularity12 comments 0

Harsh out of necessity

Multiple Sclerosis affects nearly 2 and a half million people worldwide. It is a highly debilitating autoimmune disease: the condition severely reduces patients' quality of life through symptoms which disrupt motor, cognitive, ...

Apr 28, 2016
popularity1 comments 0

Solving a genetic mystery in type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the body's own insulin-producing cells. Scientists understand reasonably well how this autoimmune attack progresses, but they don't understand what triggers the attack or how ...

Apr 11, 2016
popularity2 comments 1

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

High-fat diet starves the brain

A high-fat diet of three days in mice leads to a reduction in the amount of glucose that reaches the brain. This finding was reported by a Research Group led by Jens Brüning, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism ...

Action recognition without mirror neurons

When someone stands opposite us and purposefully raises their arm to make some kind of movement, our brain asks itself whether they intend to attack us or, perhaps, simply greet us. Scientists from the Department of Human ...

Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria

Everything you eat or drink affects your intestinal bacteria, and is likely to have an impact on your health. That is the finding of a large-scale study led by RUG/UMCG geneticist Cisca Wijmenga into the effect of food and ...