Neuroscience

Do minerals play a role in development of multiple sclerosis?

Some studies have suggested that minerals such as zinc and iron may play a role in how multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses, once people have been diagnosed with it. But little was known about whether zinc, iron and other minerals ...

Neuroscience

Taking the reins on multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis doesn't have to be an ending. With proper treatment and management, patients can manage the disease's often unpredictable nature.

Neuroscience

Multiple sclerosis – helping cells to help themselves

Diseases such as multiple sclerosis are characterized by damage to the myelin sheath, a protective covering wrapped around nerve cells akin to insulation around an electrical wire. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin ...

Neuroscience

New immunotherapy improves MS symptoms

A world-first clinical trial of a new cellular immunotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) has improved symptoms and quality of life for the majority of patients.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Many patients do not engage health care provider during MS relapse

(HealthDay)—The rate and frequency of relapse vary for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and many report not visiting a health care provider during relapse, according to a study published in the November issue of Multiple ...

Neuroscience

New clues to the origin and progression of multiple sclerosis

Mapping of a certain group of cells, known as oligodendrocytes, in the central nervous system of a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), shows that they might have a significant role in the development of the disease. The ...

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Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated MS, also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune response attacks a person's central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), leading to demyelination. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in females. 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. Nerve cells communicate by sending electrical signals called action potentials down long fibers called axons, which are wrapped in 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) 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 and neuropsychiatric disorder. 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 MS. 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 patients is nearly the same as that of the unaffected population.

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