Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that affects the brain and the spinal cord. It can debilitate vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, young women are three times more inclined than men to get MS. The condition may affect differently each person, that is why it is difficult to diagnose. Moreover, it is impossible to predict how the disease may transform throughout your life.

Symptoms of Multiple sclerosis

MS’s symptoms are unpredictable for every person and can range in intensity. They tend to appear at the ages between 20 and 40. Anyways, in the early stages of development, they are quite similar. Generally, the symptoms may lower its intensity, but later they come back again. Such symptoms include:

  • Vision problems
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Pains and spasms
  • Cognitive problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction
  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Problems with emotional health
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Breathing problems
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Slurred speech

Causes of MS

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys its own tissues and, as a consequence, myelin is being ruined which is aimed to protect the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. It is unknown what provokes MS, but there are some environmental and infectious factors that contribute to the overall risk which include:

  • Lack of Vitamin D
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Viruses and bacteria, such as measles, canine distemper, human herpes virus-6, Epstein-Barr virus, Chlamydia pneumonia etc.
  • Genetics

There is a genetic risk of obtaining multiple sclerosis that can be inherited. If someone from your first degree relative suffers from MS the risk of getting sick increases. About 200 genes are responsible for contributing to the overall risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Should I get tested?

It is always highly advisable to take the genetic test to be aware of your risks beforehand. Knowing your predisposition can slow down the development of the disease or even completely prevent it. If there were cases in your family or you feel like having the symptoms of multiple sclerosis a genetic test will provide you with a report that will help diagnose the condition. The sooner the test is done, the sooner steps toward a healthier and longer life are taken.

Still have questions?