MS ( Multiple Sclerosis) is a disease of the protective sheath (myelin sheath) around the nerve fibers that carry messages in the brain and spinal cord. It arises as a result of physical destruction on the myelin layer of the spinal cord, which provides information communication between the central nervous system and organs. Hardened tissues (sclerosis) are located where the sheath is damaged. This hardened area is also called a plaque. These plaques can form in many places within the nervous system and prevent messages from being transmitted along nerves.
What are the causes of MS disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?
Although there are many different theories on this subject, the cause of MS has not yet been determined definitively. Although various reasons that may cause the disease (previous viral infections, some toxic substances originating from the environment, nutritional habits, geographical factors, disorders in the body’s defense system) were questioned in various studies, none of them could be determined as a definitive cause.
Some researchers suggest that MS is caused by an as yet unidentified virus. According to this theory, this virus that enters the body in childhood or youth; It remains in the body for a period of five, ten or fifteen years without showing any symptoms, and then appears again for an unknown reason, for example, during a severe upper respiratory tract disease.
Another group of scientists consider it an auto-immune disease (caused by the body’s own immune system). According to this theory; While the body’s immune system normally needs to counter-attack and fight against foreign microbes or viruses that enter the body, it attacks and destroys the myelin sheath of the nerves in the central nervous system for an unknown reason in people with MS.
It can also be thought that all of these theories interact together. In other words, it can be said that in genetically predisposed people, an unknown virus related to MS can negatively activate the body’s immune system, directing it to attack and destroy the myelin layer of the nerves.
What are the symptoms of MS disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?
The first signs of the disease appear in a few days; It progresses with exacerbations and improvements. While there is complete improvement in the initial stages, a small number of patients may experience worsening without improvement from the start.
MS symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient in terms of severity and course. In some patients, different disease manifestations occur one after the other, then full or partial recovery is observed. Symptoms differ according to the area of the nervous system affected.
These include weakness, tingling, numbness, lack of sensation, balance disorder, double vision, low vision, speech disorder, tremor, stiffness in the arms and legs, weakness, incontinence or inability to urinate, and lack of sexual power in men. One or more of the described symptoms may be encountered together.
Who gets MS disease (Multiple Sclerosis)?
First of all, multiple
Sclerosis (MS) is not a fatal disease. There are many studies done on this subject. In these studies, it was revealed that there is no significant difference between MS patients and healthy individuals in terms of average life expectancy. MS is not contagious.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ranks first among neurological disabilities in young people. The disease is generally seen in young people, women, societies with high socio-economic level, and people with high education level living in cities.
- People with MS reduce their resistance to infectious diseases due to the effects of some drugs they take for treatment. For this reason, patients have a tendency to catch diseases such as respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections more than other people.
- MS is not a mental or mental illness, but a medically purely nervous system disease.
- MS is not an inherited disease. People with MS in their families have a slight tendency to develop MS.
At what age does MS disease (Multiple Sclerosis) occur most often?
In about 2/3 of the patients, the first symptoms appear between the ages of 20 and 40, but there are also patients with an early onset as early as 10 years of age and cases starting after 40 years of age. In terms of female-male distribution, it is 2/3 times more common in females.