Health

The risks of algorithmic (il)literacy on healthcare platforms

The use of wearable technologies, mobile health applications and online health platforms is on the rise, allowing us to track and share our health data, and engage in online discussion forums to ask about health-related questions. ...

Neuroscience

Early treatment tied to less disability with pediatric-onset MS

(HealthDay)—Timing of treatment start is an important predictor of disability accumulation in patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online Jan. 17 in Multiple Sclerosis and ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Neurological disorders are linked to elevated suicide rates

A newly published study in JAMA shows that people with neurological disorders have a 75% higher suicide rate than people with no neurological disorders. Still, suicide deaths are rare events. While the suicide rate for the ...

Neuroscience

Brain inflammation in veterans with Gulf War illness

In a new discovery, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have detected widespread inflammation in the brains of veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI). These findings, published online in the journal ...

Neuroscience

A potential treatment for life-threatening neurological diseases

A group of life-threatening neurological conditions affecting children has been linked to an antibody that points to potential treatment, according to an observational multicenter study involving 535 children with central ...

Health

From 'bench-to-bedside' and more: Medical buzzwords decoded

A few short weeks ago, the word "coronavirus" probably meant little, if anything, to most people. (Human coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s and, while they vary in severity, all have the ability to cause respiratory ...

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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