Question:

21 December 2018 | Gesondheid
I have been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS). What does it entail?

What is Multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

Within the CNS, the immune system causes inflammation that damages myelin — the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers — as well as the nerve fibers themselves, and the specialized cells that make myelin.

What causes MS?

The cause of MS is not known. Scientists believe MS is triggered by a combination of factors. To identify the cause, research is ongoing in areas of immunology (the study of the body’s immune system), epidemiology (the study of disease patterns in large groups of people) and genetics (understanding the genes that may not be functioning correctly in people who develop MS). Scientists are also studying infectious agents that may play a role.

Living with MS

“It does not make us less capable of still living a full life or reaching our goals.You are not alone in this. Talk to others, because bottling it all up also has side effects. One needs to remain positive and pray about it, taking every day as a blessing and an opportunity to offer someone else hope. We never know who we can inspire through our struggles. Enjoy the simpler things in life and don’t take your health for granted.”

*Charmaine (real name withheld)

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