Reasons why MS is prevalent in some places and the signs to look for to know if you have it
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system and is prevalent among young adults, being the most common neurological disease that people in this demographic may encounter. The central nervous system is comprised of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. In MS, the insulating covers of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged making communication of the brain with the rest of the body difficult. A variety of symptoms is associated with MS, making it a very complex disease to diagnose.
Very little is known about MS, with most of the reasons why it occurs remaining a mystery. It is known that inflammation is mainly the cause of the nerve damage that occurs. Symptoms of MS usually occur between the ages of 20 and 40. Some symptoms may disappear to return at a later date and others may be more continuous. If you suspect you have MS it is advisable to keep a track of the symptoms so that a more accurate diagnosis can be made by your doctor. The following are areas being studied as potential indicators of why multiple sclerosis exists:
Data suggests that the root of why MS exists may be due to the attack of an infectious agent on the central nervous system, or elsewhere. For multiple sclerosis to develop later in life, a viral attack before the age of 15 may be the cause. Research points to the prevalence of a persistent viral infection as a possible cause as well. There are several viruses that are being researched including pneumonia, measles, and human herpes virus but none have shown conclusive evidence of being related to multiple sclerosis.
It is possible that certain environmental conditions may be responsible for causing the development of MS. Scientists are looking for possible factors constantly to get to the bottom of what causes the disease, focusing on demographic and genetic variables. Scientists have discovered that living farther away from the equator increases one’s chances of developing MS. This may also be linked to vitamin D and exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is produced by the body naturally when it is exposed to sunlight, and has been linked to fighting the onset of MS. People living close to the equator are exposed to more sunlight, thus explaining the decreased instances of multiple sclerosis in that area.
There is little to no evidence suggesting multiple sclerosis is a hereditary disease, however, having a parent that has MS does slightly increase the chance that the offspring will also develop the disease by about 2 per cent. MS seems to be bunched together in certain patterns linked to genetic tendencies. The difficulty in figuring out what causes multiple sclerosis is the fact that most autoimmune diseases are caused by a single malfunctioning disease. MS on the other hand is caused by many different genes malfunctioning at the same time in small, seemingly insignificant ways. Assigning patterns to these genes has been difficult due to the different permutations and combinations with which they appear to ultimately cause this condition.
The following are the common symptoms that are faced by people with Multiple Sclerosis:
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