The Physiological Changes of MS

Multiple sclerosis attacks the body’s central nervous system and can cause quite severe reactions and symptoms if not properly treated. Here are a few physiological changes of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the effect that they have on your body.

Some of the most well-known symptoms of MS can include muscle weakness, vision trouble, coordination problems, memory issues and sensations of numbness. However, you might not realize just how this condition affects the body. It affects the brain and nervous system and each patient’s symptoms can be less or more severe than the next, depending on their individual condition.

The Central Nervous System

MS attacks the central nervous system, or the tissues in the spinal cord and the brain to be exact. This system is made up of a complex network of nerve cells that are responsible for sending and receiving many different signals throughout the body. The spinal cord will send signals to the brain that needs to be interpreted, before an appropriate action can be taken. Your central nervous system controls how you react to these signals and this goes on continuously during the day.

Myelin covers the nerve cells and adds as an insulation and protection. It is made up from fatty materials or lipids and helps nerve cells to travel quickly from one part of the body to another. MS attacks the myelin and breaks it down, interrupting the nerve signals that move through the body.

MS and Inflammation

Scientists believe that MS usually starts with inflammation; white blood cells that are triggered to enter the central nervous system and attack the nerve cells. Doctors are not quite sure what triggers this reaction but they believe that it is a latent virus; it can also be a genetic trigger or an immune system malfunction. The white blood cells are alerted and they immediately go on the offensive.

Scar Tissue on Injured Areas

Just like your body will form a scar when you cut yourself on your skin, the body will form scar tissue in the areas where myelin damage occurs. This leads to a stiff, hard feeling and blockages or obstructions in the flow between muscles and nerves in the nervous system.  

Myelin damage can basically occur anywhere in the spinal cord or the brain, and this is why MS symptoms can very so dramatically between patients. Depending on the severity and the location of the damage, symptoms can include a loss of balance, tremors, eye problems, facial pain, weakness, muscle spasms and hearing loss.

MS is a condition that affects millions of people and an episode can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Patient often experience remission in-between these periods and during this time the nerves will try to repair themselves. Remission can last for years at a time.

There is no cure for MS at this point in time, so it is important to be able to recognize the signs and find an effective way of reducing your symptoms and issues. A healthy lifestyle and diet is extremely important and it can help you to control your specific symptoms. 

HealthLine.com is a popular resource that offers expert health advice from qualified professionals and experienced contributors. Find out more about dementia on Healthline.com.

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