What is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects the brain and spinal cord which make up the central nervous system (CNS). MS affects everyone differently as it is unique to each person. The condition affects almost three times as many women as men and can be diagnosed at any age, but mostly is diagnosed on between ages 20 – 40.
There are three different main types of MS:
- Relapsing and Remitting
- Secondary Progressive
- Primary Progressive
The CNS contains many nerve cells The nerve cells communicate sending messages to and from the brain to different parts of our body. Each nerve cell is covered in a protective coating called myelin. Myelin is like the outer coating of an electric cable. The myelin helps messages to flow smoothly and quickly. Just like an electric cable, if it is damaged it interferes with electricity flowing from the plug to the appliance. The same can happen if myelin is damaged.
How does myelin become damaged?
Our immune system is our bodies natural defence and protects us to fight infections. In MS the immune system attacks our central nervous system. When the immune system attacks itself this is called autoimmune. No one know the cause of autoimmune conditions. The immune system attacks the myelin causing it to break down leaving lesions or scarring which is called sclerosis. This is called demyelination and can be seen on a scan called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Just like the damaged cable when myelin is damaged it interferes with the electrical pathway causing the messages from the brain to the body to slow down or stop all together.
Everybody’s MS symptoms can be different but some of the more common symptoms include:
- Stiffness, spasms or tremor
- Problems with mobility
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Bowel or bladder issues
- Cognitive issues like memory loss and brain fog
- Visual issues
- Numbness or tingling
Many symptoms can be invisible to others and can vary to being mild or have a significant impact on your daily life. These physical symptoms can impact on your mental health also and getting support for managing your symptoms can help quality of life. Not only for you, but support for those around you too.
That is where Revive MS Support comes in.
Find out more about how we can help.