Living With Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis: What Can You Do About It?
For most people, hearing the diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) feels like being hit by a ton of bricks. Fear and uncertainty takes over. Today there is plenty of information that we do know about the nature of multiple sclerosis, but then there is also much more that we do not know.
Multiple Sclerosis affects approximately 2.5 million people in the world. Although it is not fatal or contagious, it can be instrumental in decreasing the quality and lifespan of those that are afflicted with this unpredictable disease. Even though multiple sclerosis isn’t a rare disease, it is far from common.
Another mystery surrounding this disabling disease is that it seems to mainly target young adults between 20 to 50 years old, but can also strike at any age. And by the time they get older, they experience far more difficult symptoms that limit their capacity to function well in life. Although multiple sclerosis could affect anyone, women are at a higher risk, making it 2 to 3 times more likely to develop the condition.
Cell Therapy: The Way Forward For MS?
There is a great deal of scientific interest and advances in cell therapy as a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis. The key to treating it stems from understanding the mechanism of nerve and myelin repair potential. Cell therapy has the capability to ‘reboot’ the immune system and this in turn helps to halt the progression of the disease.
Although there is still no promise of a complete cure, cell therapy with the improvement of supporting treatments, could give hope to millions affected by multiple sclerosis to lead a full and healthy lives ahead.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
For reasons unknown to allopathic medicine, multiple sclerosis is caused by the body’s own immune system malfunctioning and attacks the fatty insulation (myelin) that surrounds and protects nerve fibers (neurons) in the central nervous system, made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.
The damaged myelin sheath or nerve fiber forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. Without functional myelin (protective insulator of the neurons), the nerve fibers’ ability to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain and spinal cord through the body is distorted or disrupted, thus producing the various symptoms that can occur in multiple sclerosis.
This progressive demyelination and destruction of nerve fibers is thought to lead to disease progression and disability, ranging from mild tremors to total paralysis, and everything in between, depending on the extent and location of the damage.
What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?
The most frequent theories about the cause of multiple sclerosis include a virus-type organism, an abnormality of the genes responsible for control of the immune system, environmental trigger or a combination of all the factors.
People who suffer from multiple sclerosis live with the certainty that their condition is unpredictable. While it is not a death sentence, the majority of people who have it, do suffer from loss of balance, problems with movement, impaired speech, extreme fatigue, vision difficulty and eventually paralysis.
People who live in higher altitude places that are further from the equator are more susceptible to the development of the disease. Reason for this has not been conclusive, but the idea that the environment may trigger the onset of the condition and could be related to sunlight exposure and vitamin D.
Because of the unpredictability and fluctuations in the characteristics of the symptoms experienced, multiple sclerosis patients often find it hard to function normally, to plan for the future and to enjoy their daily life fully.