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Multiple Sclerosis- Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological illness that affects the brain and spinal cord that can be life-threatening (central nervous system). When the immune system attacks the protective covering (myelin) that covers nerve fibres, it results in communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. MS is a chronic illness that affects one's ability to communicate with the rest of the body. Eventually, the illness may result in irreparable nerve loss or degeneration, which may be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Multiple Sclerosis Causes

Something causes the immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord, a condition known as autoimmunity. As a result of this, communications to and from the brain are interrupted due to damage to myelin, the protective coating insulating wire-like nerve fibres. This breakdown of communication signals causes a range of unexpected symptoms, including numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory difficulties, pain, tiredness, blindness, and paralysis. Everyone's experience with MS is unique, and these losses may be temporary or permanent, depending on the person. Some patients get MS after contracting a viral infection, such as the Epstein-Barr virus or human herpesvirus 6, which causes their immune system to malfunction. The infection might set off the illness or create relapses. Scientists are investigating the relationship between viruses and MS, but they do not have a definitive answer.

According to some studies, vitamin D, which you may obtain from sunshine, may help to improve your immune system and prevent you from MS. Some persons with a greater risk of contracting the illness who relocate to brighter areas seem to reduce their risk.

Does Epstein-Barr Virus Cause Multiple Sclerosis?

According to a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health research, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection may promote multiple sclerosis (MS). This degenerative disease affects 2.8 million people worldwide and has no therapy.

13th of January, 2022, according to Scientific American. "This is the first study to give solid evidence of causation," said senior author and Harvard Chan School professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Alberto Ascherio. "This is a tremendous advance since it suggests that avoiding EBV infection may prevent the majority of MS cases and eventually lead to a cure for MS." MS is a chronic inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord that causes myelin sheaths, which protect neurons, to be damaged. EBV, a herpes virus that may create a latent, lifelong infection in the patient, may cause infectious mononucleosis. Because EBV infects roughly 95% of people, MS is a rare illness, and MS symptoms develop ten years after EBV infection, proving a causal link between the virus and the disease has been difficult.

The researchers investigated over 10 million young people serving in the United States military and discovered 955 diagnosed with MS while serving. The scientists examined blood samples collected by the military twice a year to determine EBV infection status and MS development during active duty. EBV infection increased the likelihood of MS 32-fold in this sample, but other viruses showed a minor impact. Neurofilament light chain, a neurodegenerative biomarker in multiple sclerosis, increased only after EBV infection. The findings rule out any known risk factors for MS and point to EBV as the underlying cause. He thinks the delay between EBV infection and MS development is due to the disease's early stages being unknown and the developing link between EBV and the host immune system, which is constantly engaged whenever a latent virus reactivates. According to Ascherio, an EBV vaccine or antiviral drugs t

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

MS symptoms vary. In addition, symptoms might change with time. One person may have just a few symptoms, while another has several.

  • The chest pinches and tightens like a blood pressure cuff.
  • Deficit in sensory perception and fatigue cause weakness and stiffness.
  • MS often causes numbness in the face, chest, or extremities (arms and legs).
  • Affects any limb but is most common in the legs.
  • Disability caused by MS may be addressed with therapy, mobility aids, and other assistive technology.
  • Vision loss, decreased contrast or colour perception, and eye movement discomfort are all concerning.
  • MS patients may feel less dizzy, lightheaded, or spinning.
  • Medication, hydration, and self-catheterization manage bladder dysfunction in at least 80% of MS patients.
  • Stress, exhaustion, and mental health issues might impair sexual responsiveness.
  • Constipation and gastrointestinal issues plague MS sufferers. Diet, exercise, and medication typically regulate bowel disorders.
  • MS hurts. 55% of MS patients felt "clinically substantial discomfort."
  • Most MS patients fail to acquire new skills, organise and solve issues. They often have trouble focusing and seeing the surroundings clearly.
  • MS-related stress, neurologic, and immunologic issues. MS sufferers and their families deal with unrestrained tears and laughter.
  • MS often causes extreme depression.

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

The current MS therapy options may help you feel better and maintain your body functioning correctly. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines to assist control symptoms, preventing or curing episodes, and reducing stress. Included in this list are beta interferon (Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif), Cladribine (Mavenclad), Dalfampridine (Ampyra), Dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), Glatiramer (Copaxone), Natalizumab (Tysabri), Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), Ozanimod (Zeposia), Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) (Aubagio). Your doctor may prescribe steroids to reduce the severity of MS episodes. Muscular relaxants, tranquillisers, or botulinum toxin (Botox) may also be used to treat muscle spasms and other symptoms. A physical therapist can help you maintain strength, balance and manage tiredness and discomfort. An occupational therapist can help you learn new methods to work and care for yourself. A cane, walker, or braces can help you walk more effortlessly. Doctors now have more therapy choices, a greater understanding of what causes it and detect it sooner. Genetic and stem cell research may soon help heal damaged nerves or halt sickness in its tracks.

Conclusion

Because there is no cure for MS, your doctor will only treat your symptoms. In the previous two decades, new medications have significantly enhanced patients' quality of life. These treatments may help with symptoms as well as slow the progression of MS. After 15 years, 50% of MS sufferers can still walk on their own. Others will need a wheelchair or other kind of help. The average elapsed time between substantial disability and death is 33 years. Patients with MS have a normal life expectancy. Although MS patients may die from pneumonia or other infections, the majority die from other causes. Overall, MS patients live roughly 5% less than healthy adults.

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