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Pathological Book Review on Multiple Sclerosis

Powerful Essays
Around the world, many people are living with neurologically debilitating disorders like multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is best described as a pathological “inflammatory-mediated demyelinating disease of the human central nervous system,” and affects more than 2.5 million people globally (Trapp & Nave, 2008).

In coping with multiple sclerosis, as with other chronic illnesses, many choose to write about their experience, including the journey of how they received their diagnosis and their overall battle with the disease. In the autobiographic novel, Wish in one hand: The true story of a young life with multiple sclerosis, Jill Barton describes her journey of being misdiagnosed with a terminal brain tumor then re-diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is generally thought to be an autoimmune disease that attacks the myelin sheaths, or oligodendrocytes that cover nerve axons in the central nervous system (PubMed Health 2013). This immune response causes inflammation, which triggers immune cells to destroy axons “along any area of the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord” (PubMed Health 2013). When the myelin sheath “is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop” thus hindering the propagation of action potentials and limiting function (PubMed Health 2013).

With MS, most people experience exacerbations, where symptoms get progressively worse, which are then “followed by periods of reduced or no symptoms,” indicative of remission (PubMed Health 2013). Though for many it is “common for the disease to return (relapse), […for some] the disease may continue to get worse without periods of remission” (PubMed Health 2013). Also, the severity of the disorder can be amplified by exposure to extreme heat in addit...

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Works Cited

Barton, J. (2013). Wish in one hand: The true story of a young life with multiple sclerosis. Portland, Oregon: BookBaby. (Barton, 2013)

National Multiple Sclerosis Society (n.d.).What we know about MS. Retrieved from: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about- ms/index.aspx

Mayo Clinic Staff (2012). Multiple sclerosis. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/basics/definition/CON- 20026689?p=1.

PubMed Health (2013). Multiple sclerosis (MS); demyelinating disease. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmedhealth/PMH0001747/

Nave, K. A., & Trapp, D. B. (2008). Multiple sclerosis: an immune or neurodegenerative disorder? Annual Review of Neuroscience, 31, 247-269. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.30.051606.094313
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