Multiple Sclerosis By Olivia Makinson, Sam Pearson, Cameron Tripp, and Erin Cawley
Video on MS
MS affects the central nervous system
Sclerosis means scarring; white plagues (scars) appear in the brain of people with MS.
MS has four known disease courses:
Primary Progressive MS
Secondary Progressive MS
Progressive Relapsing MS
The progression of MS in the brain.
MS symptoms appear in early adulthood.
Some symptoms are chronic while others are erratic
The most common symptoms are:
Walking, coordination, and balance problems
MS affects a person’s ability to walk, coordination, and balance.
The least common symptoms include:
The cause is not known, but scientists believe that a combination of several factors may be involved.
generally accepted that MS involves an autoimmune process
abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the myelin (the fatty sheath that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers) in the central nervous system
The exact target that the immune cells are programmed to attack remains unknown.
In recent years researchers have been able to identify which immune cells are
*mounting the attack
* some of the factors that cause them to attack
* some of the sites/ receptors on the attacking cells.
Ongoing efforts to learn more about the autoimmune process in MS helps us learn more about this mysterious disease
MS is known to occur more frequently in areas that are farther from the equator.
Some scientists think the reason may have something to do with vitamin D, which the human body produces naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight. People who live closer to the equator are exposed to greater amounts of sunlight year-round. As a result, they tend to have higher levels of naturally-produced vitamin D, which is thought to have a beneficial impact on immune function and may help protect against autoimmune diseases like MS.
exposure to numerous viruses, bacteria and other microbes during childhood can make it possible that a virus or other infectious agent is the triggering factor in MS.
Severeal viruses are being researched to see if they can cause MS which include:
MS is not hereditary in a strict sense
-but having a relative such as a parent or sibling with MS increases an individual's risk of developing the disease.
Studies have shown that there is a higher prevalence of certain genes in populations with higher rates of MS.
-Common genetic factors have also been found in some families where there is more than one person with MS.
Some researchers theorize that MS develops because a person is born with a genetic predisposition to react to some environmental agent that triggers an autoimmune response
Sophisticated new techniques for identifying genes may help answer questions about the role of genes in the development of MS.
It is tempting to speculate on a viral cause for MS for several reasons: *Viruses are known to cause demyelinating disease in animals and humans.
Demyelination-destruction of myelin causes nerve impulses to be slowed or halted and produces the symptoms of MS.
It is highly unlikely that MS can be caused by a virus
Data from epidemiological studies
those that analyze variations in geographical, socioeconomic, genetic, and other factors suggest that exposure to an infectious agent may be involved in causing MS.
- Some viruses are known to have a long latency period between time of infection and appearance of clinical symptoms, as is thought to be the case in MS.
-Increased antibodies to many different viruses have been found in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of people with MS
However, this does not necessarily represent disease-causing infection by these viruses. It is more likely to be the result of non-specific immune activation
AVONEX is inserted as an intramuscular injection
It only needs to be taken once a week
Helps after the first attack
Made of Interferon beta-1a, naturally occurring human protein
Reduces the number of flare-ups
Rebif is inserted subcutaneously (under the skin)
It is taken three times a week
For patients who relapse
Also made from Interferon beta-1a
Betaseron is inserted subcutaneously
Inserted 3-4 times a week
Patients who have had a first attack and have MRI signs that correspond to Multiple Sclerosis
Includes Interferon beta-1b, a modified human protein