Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease affecting the central nervous system of the body. This chronic disease affects the cells of the brain and spinal cord. This is a very debilitating condition as it affects the nerves that control important body functions like thinking, seeing, tasting, feeling as well as movement. What causes multiple sclerosis is still unknown. However, it is thought to be an autoimmune disease as the immune system starts attacking the myelin sheath around the nerves.
Multiple sclerosis causes inflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath. The nerve fibres are covered with myelin that acts as insulation for the nerves. When the myelin cover is destroyed it causes problems with the nerve impulse transmission thus affecting many body functions like muscular control, sensory functions, motor problems as well as psychological effects. The cells of the immune system begin to act strangely and attack the body's own myelin sheath as an intruder. The repeated attacks cause progressive destruction of the myelin sheath and nerve fibre scarring.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
When the myelin sheaths covering the brain and spine are attacked it results in the cutting off the body's signals which then results in the onset of multiple sclerosis. Though this condition is usually considered to be an autoimmune disease, there are certain other causes that have been found to be at play which then result in the onset of this disease. Here are some of the same:
- It has been said that genetics is one of the major causes that leads to this condition. It has been said that a person who has a blood relative with this disease is highly predisposed to getting the same.
- An infection in the body caused by an exposure to varied bacteria and viruses can also be one of the major reasons that lead to this condition. The reason being that virus is more likely to attack the myelin sheaths in the body and thereby lead to this condition.
- Another factor that could cause the onset of this disease is thought to be a deficiency of vitamin D. It has been seen that people who do not receive as much sunlight as others have heightened chances of developing this condition because vitamin D is only produced with the help of ultraviolet radiation that sunlight provides for.
- Stress, smoking and exposure to other toxic substances are also known to heighten the chances of developing this condition.
The early symptoms of multiple sclerosis tend to be associated to the nerves affected of a particular part of the body. These symptoms may come and go. Also, the signs and symptoms may last for a few days to a couple of months. These symptoms include:
- Numbness, tingling, pain, itching, burning sensation of the face
- Visual disturbances like double vision
- Mood swings, depression, difficulty thinking and concentrating, memory loss
- Bowel urgency, bladder ejaculation, impotency
- Respiratory problems, fatigue, sleep disorder, dementia and bipolar syndrome
Even though there are lesser forms of multiple sclerosis treatment available in the present time, it has to be cleared that there is continuous and constant ongoing research in this direction. There are certain methods that can be made use of for the treatment of this condition.
Most forms of treatment of this condition aim at easing the onset of symptoms lower the progression of the disease and shorten the duration of the attacks. When it comes to dealing the specific symptoms that this condition brings along, drug therapy is one of the main forms of treatment. These help to keep the symptoms under control as well to lower the time period of the frequency of the attacks these drugs may include corticosteroids.
Immunotherapy is another form of treatment that can be looked into. This includes taking an injection which lowers the frequency of the attacks. This prevents the immune system from attacking the myelin sheaths.
Along with these, yoga, Tai chi and acupuncture are also some of the forms of treatment that can be looked into.
Multiple sclerosis is a very demanding disease and ends up affecting the body severely. Even though there is no permanent cure for the same as of now, there is constant research being done in that direction. Until then, the individual symptoms can be tackled with the help of their individual forms of treatment and a specialized diet can be brought into action.