Multiple Sclerosis, also known as “MS” is a chronic condition where the immune system begins to destroy the myelin sheath that covers the nerves in the body and affects the brain and spinal cord (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014). The myelin sheath is used for protection of the nerves in which these nerves aid to transport nerve impulses all over the body (Ruto, 2013). Once the body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath, it begins to disintegrate which affects the conductivity of the nerve impulse and impedes the message transmission from the brain to the rest of the body (Ruto, 2013). In turn, the impulses are changed which results in problems in the muscle such as weakness, imbalance and spasms and the body could end up being paralyzed (Ruto, 2013). According to Ruto, “Multiple Sclerosis affects approximately 400,000 people in the United States, more than 50,000 people in Canada, and 2.5 people million worldwide” (2013).
The cause of MS is damage to the myelin sheath, brain and spinal cord, but it is unknown how a person can obtain Multiple Sclerosis (PubMed Health, 2013). Some doctors suggest that a person can be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis through genetics or their environment (WebMD, 2014). Other researchers have suggested that the myelin is not recognized by the immune system and views it as a foreign object and therefore begins to attack it as it would be if it were an illness (WebMD 2014).
There are certain steps and tests needed to be take in order to be diagnosed with MS. Doctors would have to evaluate the patient to analyze the patient’s symptoms and perform a physical exam to dismiss all out possible diagnosis (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014). Blood tests, spinal tap, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and an evoked potential test would all be used to diagnose a person with Multiple Sclerosis (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014). Doctors would need to exam a patient’s nervous system and would need to look for areas such as paresthesia or hypoesthesia, inability to move a certain part of the body, and abnormal nerve reflexes (PubMed Health, 2013). Visual examinations may also be used to help diagnosed a patient with MS by observing if the patient has a decreased in visual acuity, changes in visual field, and rapid eye movements (PubMed Health, 2013).
Unfortunately for those who are diagnosed with MS can experience a variety of problems. Depending on the location of the scars in the brain, a patient my experience problems with walking with balance, bladder control and constipation, pain, fatigue, depression, sexual issues, and may experience cognitive changes (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [NIH], 2014). Other symptoms that a person may endure are tremors, weakness in the limbs, difficulties with breathing, headaches and hearing loss (Medical News Today, 2012).
As of today, there is not a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, but the goal of treatment is to avoid any sort of neurological impairment...