When the myelin is destroyed, nerve messages are sent more slowly and less efficiently. Scar tissue then forms over the affected areas, disrupting nerve communication. MS symptoms occur when the brain and spinal cord nerves cease to communicate properly with other parts of the body.
No single cause has been identified and many factors are probably involved
- MS is not hereditary but can occur in more than one family member, suggesting a genetic predisposition. You are more likely to get MS if other people in your family have it, especially a brother or sister.
- An environmental agent such as a virus may be involved although no single virus has been identified as being responsible.
- Environmental factors may trigger MS in susceptible people, amongst the environmental factors suggested are diet, stress, trauma and nutrition.
- MS is more common in people of certain tissue types (HLA groups);
- Evidence suggests MS may result from an auto-immune process (where the body attacks its own cells or tissues)
- The incidence of MS increases in countries further from the equator. It is 5 times more common in temperate zones than in the tropics.
There is no known way to prevent multiple sclerosis. Until the cause of the disease is discovered, this is unlikely to change. Good nutrition; adequate rest; avoidance of stress, heat, and extreme physical exertion; and good bladder hygiene may improve quality of life and reduce symptoms.
Other sources of information for these topics.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Nonprofit organization serving patients with Multiple Sclerosis in US by supporting
scientific research and promoting education.
All About Multiple Sclerosis : MS news and information on ...
Description of multiple sclerosis, news, encyclopedia, famous people with MS,
diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, prognosis, medical research, ...
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