Multiple sclerosis is a dangerous yet slow incurable disease that attacks the central nervous system, particularly the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerves. This can lead to numerous painful symptoms throughout our bodies.
What exactly is Multiple Sclerosis?
Researchers do not know precisely what causes Multiple Sclerosis, but they consider it is an autoimmune disorder that affects the CNS (central nervous system). When an individual has an autoimmune disease, the immune system strikes healthy tissue, just as it might attack a bacteria or virus.
In MS’s case, the immune system attacks the myelin cover that surrounds and shields the nerve fibers, causing permanent inflammation. Myelin also stimulates the nerves to conduct electrical signals efficiently and quickly.
MS (Multiple sclerosis) technically means “scar tissue in multiple areas.”
When the myelin sheath sustains damage in multiple areas or disappears, it leaves a scar or sclerosis. Doctors also call these areas lesions or plaques. They mainly affect:
- the cerebellum, which controls balance and coordinates movement
- the brain stem
- the spinal cord
- white matter in some regions of the brain
- the optic nerves
As more tumors develop, nerve fibers can become damaged or even break. As a result, the brain’s necessary electrical impulses do not flow that smoothly to the target nerve (the target location in our body needed for a particular work). This means that the body just cannot carry out specific functions.
No two individuals are attacked by multiple sclerosis in the same way. The condition itself is as unique to each individual as their DNA. However, certain symptoms develop during the course of the disease that is standard throughout, though they may happen at different times in the disease’s progression. For instance, some patients may be unable to walk relatively early on, while others lose this walking ability much later or possibly not at all. The symptoms and timing vary so much because each nerve center in the body manages a different part of the body. So the damage of that selective nerve center will determine what function is impaired and to what severity.
Some of the more typical symptoms of multiple sclerosis are tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, pins and needles, spasticity, muscle spasms, cramps, blindness, pain, double or blurred vision, urinary urgency or hesitancy, incontinence, slurred speech, constipation, loss of sexual function, nausea, loss of balance, depression, s disabling fatigue, short term memory problems, other forms of dangerous cognitive dysfunction, inability to control breathing, inability to swallow, and the list goes on and on.
Basically, any purpose of the body that needs nerve center impulse transmission is at danger of attack. Yes, it is horrible and horrible insidious.
Depending on your perspective of life and death, some say the worst part of this condition is that it is not lethal and progresses very slowly. In the early stages, most individuals have no symptoms at all and may not even know they have MS. As the disease evolves, symptoms begin to show and worsen gradually.
People at some point need the support of a cane or some other device to aid with walking. As the condition progresses, and again this varies from person to person, symptoms can become so severe that the patient is entirely immobile. People with multiple sclerosis who ultimately die do not do so from the disease itself but from an indirect result of the condition, which can be just about anything from a heart attack to a stroke to organs just not working any longer.