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Multiple Sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis is one of the most mysterious diseases of today. No one can tell exactly why it develops, and how it can be cured or even eased. The number of people affected by this disease is about half a million in the U.S. only. It has a tendency to grow, which calls forth the need for a deeper investigation to create an effective remedy.

Multiple sclerosis develops when white blood cells begin to attack and destroy the myelin sheath around nerve cells. By doing that, they cause multiple disruptions to nerve communications. As the organism tries to repair the damage, the affected areas are filled by scar tissue, which makes things even worse. A long-term consequence is that signals from the central nervous system either fail to reach muscles and sense organs or get there with great delays because the way is so obstructed. People literally lose control over their own bodies.

There is no agreement among researchers about what makes white blood cells attack the myelin sheath. Some argue that this disease is hereditary, while others consider the cause to be a virus. There is also a version that multiple sclerosis is a hereditary disease that is virally triggered, and there’s also an even simpler explanation – that it arises from a chemical imbalance in the organism. The only thing known for sure is that the reason is some kind of an immune system disorder.

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary in severity, according to the type of the disease. There are five known types, three of them accountable for over 90 percent of cases. The least severe is Benign Multiple Sclerosis, which is found in 20 percent of cases. It develops slowly and may allow the patient to lead a relatively normal life. The most common is Chronic Relapsing MS (40 percent of cases), which causes a disability that cab increase with every attack. A combination of these two is Benign Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, which makes up 30 percent of cases with mild disability and fluctuating severity of symptoms. Regardless of the disease type, the final result is the same – permanent disability.

Developing an effective treatment of multiple sclerosis is impossible without the exact cause of this disease being identified. As hundreds of thousands of people continue to lose their health to multiple sclerosis, there should be a broader coverage of this problem to drive the attention of governments and persuade them to spend more money on the research of this disease.