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MS development, symptoms, and relation to geographic locatio

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do you believe that MS development has to do with geographical location?
what are teh most common symptoms you see in MS patients? WHy do yuo believe MS develops?

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replied November 30th, 2006
Multiple Sclerosis Answer A1830
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system creates antibodies and cells against the myelin coverings of the nerve tracts in the brain and spinal cord, as well as against some cranial nerves (the optic nerves). As a result of the immune response, inflammatory plaques are created in the white substance of the brain, optic nerves, spinal cord and cerebellum.
The etiology (cause) of the disease, as in all autoimmune diseases, is still unknown.
Epidemiologic studies suggest that geographic location may have some influence, not well understood yet, in developing MS. Studies among immigrant populations revealed that people under 15 years old who emigrated from regions with higher risk for MS (central Europe) into regions with lower risk for MS (South Africa or Israel) also decreased their risk for developing MS. But for people above 15 years, old the risk for developing MS stayed the same as in the region they came from. The same results appear in people who emigrated from the regions with lower risk for MS (India, Pakistan) into regions with higher risk for MS (Great Britain). These studies among immigrant populations suggest that there could be some acquired factor(s) for developing MS from the environment that is (are) acquired and act(s) in the first 15 years of life. Some studies suggest that one of these environmental factors could include a viral infection. In addition, genetic studies showed a genetic predisposition for developing MS via gene conditioning. It is believed that many genes (multiple genetic locuses) determine the predisposition for developing MS.
A final conclusion for MS development could be that predisposition for MS is genetically conditioned but some unknown factors from the environment trigger the disease’s beginning. This explanation stands for all autoimmune diseases.
The most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis are:
1. Eye pain and vision problems due to affection of the optic and bulbomotor nerves;
2. Unstable walking and dizziness due to affection of the vestibular nerve;
3. Muscle weakness, pareses and paralysis due to the affection of the pyramidal tracts;
4. Sensitive symptoms (itching, pain, numbness) due to affection of sensitive tracts;
5. Lack of muscles’ activity coordination due to affection of the cerebellum, and
6. Urinary incontinence.
Epileptic seizures are rarely present during MS.
Symptoms depend upon the localization and number of inflammatory plaques. Group of symptoms appear in attacks and then retreat, but usually not completely. With every new attack, the condition becomes worse. MS exacerbates (worsens) over time. Incomplete remissions make the evolution of the disease hard to predict (like in most of the other autoimmune diseases). For more information, please see the U.S. government website: y?FUNCTION=search&PARAMETER=MS&DISAMBIGUAT ION=true&SERVER1=server1&SERVER2=server2&S TART=0&END=25&MAX=500&ASPECT=1 To rate the helpfulness of this response, please send a private message to the administration at username: admin.

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