Multiple Sclerosis: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:40 by admin
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which the nerves of the eye, brain and spinal cord lose myelin, a protective coating that facilitates the transmission of electrical impulses.

The cause of Multiple Sclerosis is unknown. However, scientists believe that a virus or other antigen triggers a process that results in deteriorated myelin. These antibodies damage the myelin sheath and interfere with the transmission of electrical impulses.

Heredity and the environment both play roles in the development of Multiple Sclerosis. Approximately 5% of those afflicted with the condition have a sibling with Multiple Sclerosis. Also, climate appears to play a role. Only 1 in 10,000 people born in a tropical climate develop Multiple Sclerosis, while 1 in 2,000 born in temperate climates develop the disorder.

A debate is ongoing over the association between Multiple Sclerosis and the administration of the Hepatitis B vaccine. However, a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that individuals who received the vaccine were no more likely to develop Multiple Sclerosis than others.

About 400,000 people in the United States have Multiple Sclerosis.

See Also

  1. Head, Spinal Cord, Brain & Nerve Disorders: Overview
  2. Cigarettes & Tobacco
  3. Enbrel / Etanercept
  4. Hepatitis B Vaccine
  5. Remicade / Infliximab
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