What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

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What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
« on: 22/02/2010 19:30:01 »
Tim asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi from Pennsylvania USA.  

Can you please tell me about multiple sclerosis; the types; and treatments; and whether, like they go on about on the television, it's fatal?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 22/02/2010 19:30:01 by _system »


Offline Pwee

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What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
« Reply #1 on: 23/02/2010 11:18:15 »
A bit of googling goes a long way.

Some general information:
MS is a kind of autoimmune disease, where the body's own white blood cells attack the myelin sheet of the nerve cells, this way making them ineffective.

Because of this, the treatment consists of long regular administration of immune modulator drugs.

According to the wikipedia page, people live to an average of 30 years after onset, and 40% of them live to be more then 70 years old, so it's not "that fatal". The problem with MS is that it's a really unpredictable disease, almost any neurological symptom can occur as various parts of the brain is damaged.


Offline RD

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What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
« Reply #2 on: 23/02/2010 12:22:52 »
NB: there are MS-like vasculopathic conditions, (which can also be due to autoimmunity).
IMO Anyone with an MS diagnosis should explore these conditions as they are more treatable than MS. 

Multiple sclerosis-like features

    Some people with Hughes Syndrome develop a syndrome which is very similar to multiple sclerosis where they have numbness or pins and needles, double vision or loss of part of the field of vision, and have difficulty walking. Consequently, one of the main alternative diagnoses in patients with Hughes syndrome is multiple sclerosis, and the clinical team here are continually treating patients who had been previously misdiagnosed with “multiple sclerosis”.


Offline alexjoan

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What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
« Reply #3 on: 27/02/2010 10:47:03 »
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS) - that's the brain and spinal cord. Predominantly, it is a disease of the "white matter" tissue. The white matter is made up of nerve fibres which are responsible for transmitting communication signals both internally within the CNS and between the CNS and the nerves supplying rest of the body.