Since MS first appeared in the 1830s there have been thousands of medical literature written about the disease. Over the years, numerous research and questions continue to loom about what it is all about or what makes Multiple Sclerosis tick.
You may have felt like you’ve walked into an inquisition hearing questions such as, what do you have again? Well, is it hereditary or does a person get it from the environment? The facts are that MS is an illness that many don’t understand because of its’ unpredictable nature and that it affects each individual diagnosed differently. Of course, there are quite a bit of similar occurrences and symptoms. For example, numbness, tingling, and fatigue pretty much disturb all of us at some point. Keep in mind that this certainly isn’t a one size fit all type of disease.
It has been reported that over 2 million people have MS. According to The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation,” more than 400,000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million people around the world have MS. About 200 new cases are diagnosed each week in the United States. Rates of MS are higher farther from the equator.”
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society provides a brief detailed explanation below:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The exact antigen — or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack — remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be “immune-mediated” rather than “autoimmune.”
- Within the CNS, the immune system attacks myelin — the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers — as well as the nerve fibers themselves.
- The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name.
- When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms.
- The disease is thought to be triggered in a genetically susceptible individual by a combination of one or more environmental factors.
- People with MS typically experience one of four disease courses, which can be mild, moderate or severe.
As you prepare to tune in to our first episode January 19th, you will hear and learn more about this information along with the experiences of two women that have been living with MS for almost two decades.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions and we will be sure to address them in the podcast. If we do not answer you while on air, send us an email, Tweet, message us on Facebook or Instagram. We are just a few clicks away!
Have a wonderful day!
Dawn and Daana