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Multiple Sclerois …

More than 100 years have passed since Charcot, Carswell, Cruveilheir, and others described the clinical and pathological characteristics of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) with the precise etiology remaining unclear, and involving a constellation of mechanisms.

MS organizations have estimated that 2.3 million people are living with MS worldwide (National Multiple Sclerosis Society, accessed 2018). The Multiple Sclerosis Society in the United Kingdom estimate there to be over 100,000 people with MS in the UK, and that each year approximately 5,000 people are newly diagnosed with the condition. These estimations suggest that around one in every 600 people in the UK has MS, and that each week, 100 people are diagnosed with MS. The incidence and prevalence rates used in the estimations are based on data from 2010. It may be likely that these figures underestimate the true number of people currently living with MS in the UK due to not taking into account potential increases in MS prevalence over time and with MS living longer.

MS affects the central nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibre of the central nervous system is a fatty tissue called myelin, which helps nerve fibres conduct electrical impulses. In MS, the body’s immune system, which normally helps to fight off infections, attacks myelin. This causes inflammation of the myelin sheath and myelin is lost in multiple areas, leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. When myelin or the nerve fibre is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various neurological symptoms of MS. It is the nerve damage that causes the accumulation of disability that can occur over time.

Research paper: MultipleSclerosis