Multiple Slerrosis Essay

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Multiple Sclerosis or commonly known as MS, is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS). This is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. MS is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system is incorrectly attacking healthy tissues in the CNS and damaging the nerves of the brain and spinal cord (Senelick). Multiple sclerosis is characterized by demyelination of the axon. A demyelinating disease is any disorder that damages the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. This damage impairs the conduction of signals in the nerves of the CNS (Swanson). The exact cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown, but the disease may be hereditary. Evidence indicates that people who have MS may also have family members with the disease (Roiger and Bullock 270). It is believed that multiple sclerosis is a result of gene mutation. Some researchers theorize that MS is a combination of several factors such as the environment, viral or infectious agents, immune system deficiency, and genetic factors (“What Causes Multiple Sclerosis”). There are many different factors that could potentially increase risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Some of these include age, gender, family history, infections, ethnicity, and geographic region. Multiple sclerosis can occur at almost any age but it is more likely to occur in adults between the ages of 20 and 40 (Harms). Gender also plays a role in multiple sclerosis, for an unknown reason, MS is twice as common among women as it is in men. “Genetic differences between men and women could be the reason why multiple sclerosis strikes more women than men” (Hitti). In a demographic study done by Weinshenker and his Mayo Clinic... ... middle of paper ... ...found that patients who frequently use therapy treatments for MS had a higher risk for cardiovascular problems. Other researchers studied sexual and environmental risk factors of multiple sclerosis. These scientists studied the effect the environment and sexuality has on long term MS patients. It was found that the inflammation in females was much higher than in males. Women have a greater chance of developing MS in their life time (Bove and Chitnis). Multiple Sclerosis is a very odd and intriguing disease. Although it was not my first choice in the health topic project, I really enjoyed researching and learning about it. I don’t personally know anyone with MS but if I were to meet someone with the disease I can more easily understand what they are going through. This project has given me great research skills that I can use to learn about any disease or disorder.
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