Multiple sclerosis is a central nervous system disease wherein the nerves in the brain and spinal cord degenerate. Specifically, myelin insulates and covers the nerves thereby helping keep nerve at its optimum health.
When multiple sclerosis occurs, inflammation makes myelin disappear. This results in the impairment and slowness of the electrical impulses which travel along the nerves. Eventually, the nerves become damaged. A person then experiences accelerated interference with regards to the functions of his nervous system including speech, vision, memory, walking, writing.
Currently, the reasons for multiple sclerosis is not known with most researchers claiming that the disorder originates from the immune system or is simply caused by genetics.
For one, Eskimos, European gypsies and African Bantus have never developed multiple sclerosis. Similarly, those in South America, and Native North Indians as well as a few Asian groups and Japanese experience very low MS incidence.
However, the possibility for multiple sclerosis increases in certain families wherein a first degree relative has MS.
Take note though that data also offers the idea that environmental factors play a relevant role in the development of multiple sclerosis.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary as these could either manifest thru a single symptom or multiple ones all of which vary in intensity and duration.
One symptom is visual disturbance wherein a patient may experience blurred vision as well as a slight color distortion, e.g., from red to orange; red to gray. At times, eye pain may also be evident due to the inflammation of the optic nerve.
Other symptoms include numbness, fatigue, prickle-like pain and muscle spasms. Speech impediment may also occur as well as dizziness and tremors.
Half of multiple sclerosis patients also experience memory loss, poor concentration, attention deficit, depression, impaired judgment, paranoia and an urge to cry or laugh which is uncontrollable.
There are many ways to diagnose multiple sclerosis, one is thru MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. Another is thru electro-physiological test and the last is via the examination of one's cerebro-spinal fluid.
Currently, as much as 350,000 people are diagnosed to have multiple sclerosis in the US. Their age ranges anywhere from 20 to 50 years old. However, multiple sclerosis have been similarly seen in both the elderly and children.
Also, multiple sclerosis is two times highly likely to happen in Caucasians than in other groups. Females are also more likely to experience multiple sclerosis than men.