MS in an autoimmune disease that attacks the layers of lipid tissue known as the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath blankets the dendrites and nerve axons, which allows nerve impulses to quickly travel throughout the nervous system. This permits efficient communication throughout the body, so it can function properly.
When the immune system destroys the Myelin sheath’s protective covering, or causes neuron axon transections, the nervous system has difficulty with communication. This’s what causes the numerous MS symptoms.
Our Immune System
The immune system’s composed of two types of white blood cells,Macrophage and t cells. The t cells have three sub categories; helper, suppressor and cytotoxic t cells. Each has its own function. The suppressor t cell stops the t cells from attacking. The helper T cells identify foreign bodies also known as antigens through their protein molecule receptors. When antigens are located, the helper T cells produce cytokines which cause the body to creating additional T cells.
5 Ways Multiple Sclerosis Affects our Cells
1- For some unexplained reason, MS causes T cells to respond. They react by creating new cytokines so it can attack and destroying the myelin sheath.
2- These new cytokinespenetrate the blood barrier. The blood barrier is blood vessels and chemicals that stopsubstance from entering the brain.
3- Once the barrier is broken the macrophage cross over and begin producing antibodies. These antibodies, attach themselves to oligodendrocytes, cells found in the myelin sheath. The macrophage will then start destroying the oligodendrocytes, which causes the lesions in the myelin sheath and the cerebellum, the brain’s white matter.
4- While the penetration of the blood barrier continues the T cells adhere their selves to the microglial cells, neuron support cells. This causes more cytokines to be released, causing additional damage to the myelin sheath and the axons.
5- Sometimes attacks on the microglia is so damaging, that axons become severed. This makes them unable to transmit messages, and it causes permanent symptoms.
Some axon that’s often destroyed are the ones that affect the sensory and motor functions. These axons are larger and so the slightest damage can be devastating. Damage to these axons will cause difficulty with mobility, they might have muscle spasms, and muscle twitches. They’ll have difficulty with eye hand coordination, picking up objects, and opening lids. Their muscles may become weak.
This could cause problems with their speech, and swallowing. They might have difficulty with hearing and vision. Vision usually occurs when the optic nerve becomes inflamed. They could have urinary issues like frequency, urgency, and incontinence. They could be incontinent of bowel, become constipated, or have diarrhea. A person may not be interested in sex. This is thought to be caused by the motor,sensory neuron damage. Other MS symptoms can cause this to occur; depression, anxiety, weakness, fatigue and some of the MS medicines. They can have numbness, tingling, weakness in their arms and legs, and other parts of their body.
Symptoms Caused By Destruction of the Cerebellum
Some of the symptoms are caused by damage to the cerebellum, or little brain. It’s the white matter of the brain that sits just above the brain stem and is responsible for movement, coordination, balance, fine motor skills, and muscle tone. Lesions in this area can cause things like unsteady gait, loss of balance, and the inability to pick up objects. It can also affect a person’s cognitive thinking. Like difficulty with abstract thinking, memory loss, and difficulty with speech.
In order to find a cure, researchers are looking at two different aspects. What causes MS to occur, and ways to repair and stop further damage? By determining the causes of this disease, researchers will be able to find better treatment options and ways to stop the disease before it begins. They’re looking into things like virus, environmental factors and genetics.
Although MS isn’t’ hereditary, a family member with MS increases your chances of getting the disorder.Twin studies show that identical twins, twins with the same genetic markers have a higher chance of both having MS. than fraternal twins. Researchers conclude that this could be the result of a predisposition to a certain protein that causes the attacks, or genetic makeup predisposes them to environmental risk factors which causes MS to occur.
Researchers are looking into environmental factors. People who live in Northern United, States, Southern Canada, Southeast Australia, New Zealand and northern Europe, have a higher risk. This risk factor’s increased if the person is Caucasian, female between the ages of 20- 40.
Studies show that if these people move to an area that has a lower risk, before they turn 15,their chances are reduced. It’s thought that early exposure causes MS.
Since most people are exposed to certain viruses before the age of 15. Viruses cause inflammation and T cell production. Since there’s presents of antibodies in the spinal fluid of an MS patient, it’s thought that a virus might cause this disease. Researches are now trying to pinpoint which virus causes this to occur, so they can find better treatment and preventive options.
Scientist is looking into ways to stop the damage. In addition, they’re looking into how to and repair the myelin sheath and axon. They’re also trying to find ways to stop t cell response.
One study was conducted on dogs born with little myelin sheath. This study showed that when doctors transplanted glial cells from healthy animals into them, they’re able to produce their own cells within the transplanted area.
Another study showed that the growth factor IGF-1 and proteins found in the brain also help with repairs.
Researchers are still conducting tests on suppressing the T cell response. So far the treatment options are Betaseron, interferon and prednisone. These slow down the lesion production and inflammation.
Researchers are doing studies on cytokines. They hope to use these types of drugs to stop T cell attacks by utilizing suppressor t cells.