MS is a disease that is characterized by the demyelination of axons throughout the central nervous system. This demyelination is thought to be caused by a T-cell mediated inflammatory condition1. This condition leads to an overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines, which causes glutamate to be released. The glutamate leads to an influx of calcium, which causes toxic damage to the myelin that surrounds the nerve axons1. Once the axons are demyelinated, scar tissue called plaques, or sclerosis, are formed, leading to a decreased nerve conduction. The brain tissue is also affected in this process and atrophies as the condition progresses1.
Patients with MS often have variable symptoms, depending on the areas of the brain and spinal cord that are affected. The first symptom that usually occurs is optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve. This occurs due to the demyelination of the optic nerve, which can lead to a painful decrease or loss of vision, usually only affecting one eye1. The most common symptom for patients with MS is fatigue. This is often the result of deconditioning and lack of endurance, which are results of decreased neuromuscular input from the demyelinated axons1. Fatigue can be considered in multiple aspects, including motor weakness, mental fatigue, and sleepiness. Because fatigue often has a gre...
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...5-494c-92f2-95959b7c6781. January 12, 2015. Accessed August 2015.
3. What is MS? . National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/. Accessed August 2015.
4. Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis. Cleveland Clinic. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/neurological_institute/mellen-center-multiple-sclerosis/diseases-conditions/pediatric-multiple-sclerosis. Accessed August 2015.
5. Multiple sclerosis. Mayo Clinic. 2014. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/basics/definition/con-20026689. July 12, 2014 Accessed August 2015.
6. Kargarfard, M, Etemadifar, M, Baker, P, Mehrabi, M, Hayatbakhsh, R. Effect of Aquatic Exercise Training on Fatigue and Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2012;93:1701–1708.
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