It is a neurological condition, an autoimmune disease, affecting the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). It could be a genetic disorder or a viral infection which usually occurs in young adults and is more common in women.
Multiple Sclerosis, in particular, refers to scars (scleroses—better known as plaques or lesions) particularly in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord, which is mainly composed of myelin. The other pathologic hallmark of the disease is inflammation which is caused by the damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds the nerve cells, by T-cells (WBCs). When this nerve covering is damaged, the ability of nerve signals to communicate (via action potentials) with each other slows down or stops and as a result, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and start damaging the myelin sheath completely. Hence, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, such as:
· Loss of vision – usually only in one eye
· Spasticity– muscle stiffness that can lead to uncontrolled muscle movements
· Ataxia– difficulties with balance and co-ordination
· Fatigue – feeling very tired during the day