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What is Multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease; when the immune system attacks healthy tissue, it occurs. The myelin that protects nerves is gradually attacked by the immune system, contributing to the death of neurons in the spinal cord and brain. This can affect many areas of functioning. For most people, this disease began with mobility issues, pain, and weakness. A person might have tingling in their legs or hand, unexplained pain, tremors, or sudden difficulties with balance.

The immune system attacks more of the central nervous system over time; symptoms will worsen without treatment. Some of the symptoms are –

  • Mood Changes (Anxiety or Depression)
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • Vertigo
  • Increasing mobility impairments
  • Sensory issues, such as changes in hearing and vision
  • Incontinence

Researchers have not found a single gene or combination of genes that cause this disease or make the development inevitable. In certain environmental conditions, there are at least 200 genes that may increase the risk of developing the disease. Study shows if one twin has the disease, then changes of other one is very high. Especially when the twins are young usually share environmental factors, too, so both environmental and genetic factors may explain this phenomenon.

Inheritance of Multiple sclerosis –

If a person carries a specific gene of any disorder, then the person will be affected. In other cases, the person might carry the genes and may not have any symptoms but can pass them to children. MS does not follow this predictable pattern of inheritance. Researchers have found out 100 genes that seem to increase the likelihood of MS. However, no single genes make it inevitable, and if combined with others, it also doesn’t make it inevitable.

If a close relative like parents or siblings has the disease, then a person’s chances of getting the disease are higher. Identical twins will both have in 20–30% of cases, while non-identical twins will both have the disease in about 5% of cases. Some researchers have found out that people who live in specific geographic regions are more prone to the disease. 

In 2007 in a study, it was found out that people who migrate to areas where the disease is more common develop a similar risk for the disease as those previously living there. Many other reasons are there for the disease. People who smoke have a higher risk of the disease. Certain infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, Vitamin D deficiency Obesity, can increase the risk. 

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