Multiple Sclerosis: Pathology of the Central Nervous System
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that commonly found in individuals between the ages of 20 and 40. While men with MS tend to have a faster progressing disease, women are more likely than men to develop it. MS comes in many forms due to the extent of the damage and the amount of lesions, along with how quickly it progresses. All of this collectively forms the MS community today and has resulted in new test methods and forms of treatment developed to both help relieve the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. This research paper will go through what causes a person to develop MS, what is going on within the body that causes the symptoms people experience, both the objective and subjective findings of MS, as wells as pharmaceutical and natural treatment options.
Multiple Sclerosis is distinguished as a chronic autoimmune disease that results in the demyelination of the central nervous system. The ultimate problem is that myelin within the central nervous system becomes inflamed and scarred which has massive effects on the individual. Huether and McCance (2012) go into great detail about what Multiple Sclerosis is stating that it is a multifactorial disease, meaning that it results when a person is genetically prone to developing MS and then develops a virus in the nervous system. The demyelination and inflammation of the central nervous system is caused by plasma cells, B-lymphocytes, T-cells and proinflammatory cytokines and causes the scarring and the degeneration of axons, which is unfortunately irreversible.
Aside from the central inflammation caused by the disease, there is also injury throughout the CNS that is classified as MS lesions. Health care professionals are able to track the progression of MS by the amount of lesions the individual has. MS lesions occur where there is damage to oligodendrocytes, changes in myelin composition, considerable loss to neurons over a period of time, and brain atrophy and can occur in either white or gray matter. MS also has short-lived attacks of neurological deficits that are temporary and correlated with worsening symptoms. These attacks are reversible and are a result of a block of conduction in axons that are partially demyelinated. The cause of these short-lived attacks is a slight increase in body temperature or hypocalcaemia, which in turn causes increased leakage through the demyelinated axons. Both emotional and physical stresses are triggers because the functional demands of the body exceed the capabilities of the nervous system. Suck attacks of more severe symptoms can last weeks or months and can lead to the progression of MS symptoms (p.397). The diverse stages of MS lesions are responsible for the varying symptoms seen across the MS community. Overall, MS results in irreversible damage to the CNS and results in lesions throughout the nervous system that cause multiple symptoms and issues...