Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

 

 

Overview

A neurological disease that is thought to be triggered by environmental factors in individuals with genetic susceptibility. MS causes immune attacks on the axons and myelin in the CNS that cover nerve fibers, which causes permanent communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

MS can be divided into 5 different disease subtypes

  • Radiologically isolated syndromes
  • Clinically isolated syndromes
  • Relapsing-remitting MS
  • Secondary progressive MS
  • Primary progressive MS

Common Symptoms

Muscle weakness or numbness, difficulties with balance, paralysis, paresthesia, pain, Lhermitte’s sign (electric-shock sensations that occur when bending the neck forward), sexual dysfunction, migraines, blurred or complete loss of vision, red-green color distortion, speech impediments, dizziness, hearing loss, cognitive impairments, and depression. 

Individuals with MS can experience a broad range of symptoms that are dependent on the amount and type of nerve damage that occurs. In fact, most people with MS will likely only experience a few of the known symptoms. Relapsing-remitting cycles of MS progression are not uncommon with relapses developing over days or weeks and remission that last months or years.  

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, thyroid disease, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep disorders (sleep-related breathing disorder, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome), hypercholesterolemia, and inflammatory bowel disease, and dietary intolerances/sensitivities

Risk Factors

Females and those of caucasian or Northern European descent between the ages of 20 and 40 years old are at the highest risk of developing MS. If you have family members with MS, you are at a higher risk of developing MS, too.

Viral infections (including Epstein-Barr) have been linked to MS. Having autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, or inflammatory bowel disease increase one’s odds of developing MS.

Sources

  1. Article Sources and Footnotes
    1. Goldenberg M. M. (2012). Multiple sclerosis review. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 37 (3), 175–184.

    2. Magyari, M., & Sorensen, P. S. (2020, July 7). Comorbidity in Multiple Sclerosis. Frontiers. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00851

    3. Mayo Staff. (2020, June 12). Multiple sclerosis. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350269

    4. Rose, N. R., & Mackay, I. R. (2020). The Autoimmune Diseases (6th ed., pp. 961-979). Academic Press.

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