Multiple sclerosis, also known as simply MS, is an inflammatory disease that affects the protective layer of the axons of the brain and spinal cord. This is an autoimmune disorder in which patient’s body mistakenly attacks the fatty myelin, a layer that covers and protects the nerves. As a result, the myelin sheath of neurons is damaged, the scarring occurs, as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. The most significant effect of demyelination is the impairment of the conduction of signals in the affecting nerves. In other words, the brain fails to communicate with the rest of the body. The process may advance to the irreversible stage in which the deterioration of the nerves occurs.
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary drastically, depending on the affected nerves and the amount of damage that is done to them. This health condition is extremely hard to diagnose, as the symptoms tend to come and go. In many cases, patients may be asymptomatic for many months before their symptoms reoccur. Most commonly, symptoms include numbness or weakness in the limbs. Sometimes only one of the limbs is affected. The symptom normally occurs on one side of the body at the time. Patients may experience temporary, partial or complete loss of vision. Other visual disturbances such as double vision or blurred vision are also common. Fatigue, dizziness, tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait are frequently seen among MS patients. Signs and symptoms of the disease tend to be worse by an increase in the body temperature.
Causes of multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease for which the exact cause is yet unknown. Scientists believe that a combination of factors, ranging from genetics to childhood infections, may play a role. Some of the experts suggest that multiple sclerosis may result from other factors, such as vascular problems. Multiple sclerosis is not a genetic disease but certain genetic variations have been shown to increase the risk of MS.
Prevention of multiple sclerosis
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. The treatment is available but it only focuses on lessening the severity of the symptoms and modifying the course of the disease. However, modern investigation revealed that there is a slight chance of preventing multiple sclerosis. According to the modern findings, there is a fact the people who live in colder climates have increased incidence of multiple sclerosis disease. The possible explanation for this fact is that vitamin D may have some properties in preventing multiple sclerosis. The most important vitamin D deficiency contributing factor is insufficient exposure to sunlight. Maintaining optimal vitamin D levels may possibly help to prevent multiple sclerosis.