Multiple sclerosis is a disease that attacks the body’s central nervous system.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a heterogeneous, immune-mediated disorder in which the body attacks its own myelin sheath that protects the nerve fibers of the central nervous system (CNS).
With the body’s immune system identifying myelin as a foreign body, the sheath is slowly destroyed, exposing the nerve fibers to lesions. This damage alters the messages within the CNS causing neurological symptoms of varying degrees of severity.
Some of the common symptoms of MS are fatigue, pain, numbness or tingling sensations, weakness, vertigo, difficulty walking, and vision and bladder problems. Pain is a symptom present in almost 75% of patients. Less common symptoms are difficulty swallowing, seizures, and speech and breathing difficulties.
Pathophysiology of MS
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan reveals white matter plaque that is characteristic of MS. Plaques can occur anywhere in the body. However, they are mainly seen in the brain stem, cerebellum, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS plaques can be further confirmed by the presence of abundant amounts of anti-myelin degradation products such as activation markers, anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), anti-myelin basic protein (MBP), and proteolipid protein.
Studies have shown that patients with MS who are seropositive to anti-MOG as well as anti-MBP experienced more frequent relapses. Thus, serum anti-myelin antibodies can be used as a marker for predicting MS.
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