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Living with Multiple Sclerosis

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Who gets Multiple Sclerosis

While the exact cause of MS is unknown, most researchers believe that the damage to myelin results from an abnormal response by the bodys immune system. Normally, the immune system defends the body against foreign invaders such as viruses or bacteria. In autoimmune diseases, the body attacks its own tissue. It is believed that MS is an autoimmune disease. In the case of MS, myelin is attacked.

 

Scientists do not yet know what triggers the immune system to do this. Most agree that several factors are involved, including:

 

Genetics

Gender

Environmental Triggers

[Possibilities include viruses, trauma, and

heavy metals ( toxicology)]

Who Gets MS?



Anyone may develop MS, but there are some patterns.

  • Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.
  • Two-three times as many women as men have MS.
  • Studies indicate that genetic factors make certain individuals more susceptible than others, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited.
  • MS occurs more commonly among people with northern European ancestry, but people of African, Asian, and Hispanic backgrounds are not immune.

 

 

 

Understanding the Fatigue of Multiple Sclerosis

 

 

This section provides recently published news relating to multiple sclerosis provided by a third party news syndicator.

 

(HealthDay) 

 

 

Feb   17,  2004

 

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDayNews) -- Widespread nerve fiber damage in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with serious fatigue, says a Canadian study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

 

The study included 60 people with MS who were grouped as having low fatigue (26 people) or high fatigue (34 people) based on their responses to a questionnaire on fatigue, which affects about 87 percent of people with MS.

 

The biological causes of this fatigue are unknown. Some experts believe it may be caused by widespread axonal (nerve fiber) damage associated with MS.

 

The researchers used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio (NAA/Cr) of these two naturally occurring brain chemicals. This ratio is an indicator of proper nerve functioning. A higher NAA/Cr ratio indicates better nerve functioning in the brains of people with MS.

 

The study found the people in the high fatigue group had a significantly lower NAA/Cr ratio, an indication of more nerve fiber damage and poorer nerve functioning.

 

"Our observations, combined with those of others, suggest that widespread axonal dysfunction is associated with fatigue in MS," the study authors write.

 

"It may be hypothesized that diffuse white matter (brain) disease translates into an increase in the central nervous system effort required by a patient with MS to perform the same activity as compared with a disease-free subject, with resultant fatigue."

If you are newly diagnosed and want to know more about MS and what is to be expected in the future, then please try these links, they may be of use, more so if you live in the UK.:

Here is another link where you find a webpal and get involved in groups and conversations.

Here is a further link to another website, it has been built by someone in the USA but is a excellent site all the same.