Medical research

Stem cell transplant slows progression of multiple sclerosis

(HealthDay)—For patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCST) is associated with prolonged time to disease progression compared with disease-modifying ...

Immunology

Researchers discover new immune response regulators

The research groups of Academy Professor Riitta Lahesmaa and Research Director Laura Elo from Turku Centre for Biotechnology have discovered new proteins that regulate T cells in the human immune system. Some of these proteins ...

Neuroscience

Unraveling the mysteries of multiple sclerosis

Leiden chemists discovered a new mechanism which might explain how multiple sclerosis shifts to a more severe form. Their findings contribute to unraveling the mysterious course of the disease. They have published their findings ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Stroke drug may also prevent Alzheimer's disease, study says

Researchers from the University of Southern California have discovered that a drug currently being developed to treat stroke patients could also prevent Alzheimer's disease. The study, which will be published January 15 in ...

Medications

Fears over life-saving drug unfounded, finds review

Fears over a drug that can be used to treat alcohol addiction are unfounded, according to its first ever systematic review, led by academics at The University of Manchester.

Neuroscience

Drug may delay MS disability for some

An immune system drug may help prevent or slow complications in a type of multiple sclerosis known as secondary progressive MS, a new study finds.

Immunology

Gut immune cells cut inflammation in multiple sclerosis

Researchers at the University of Toronto and UC San Francisco have discovered that the intestine is the source of immune cells that reduce brain inflammation in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and that increasing the ...

Neuroscience

Rituximab beneficial in secondary progressive MS

(HealthDay)—For patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), treatment with rituximab is associated with a significantly lower Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score and delayed progression, according ...

page 1 from 23

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