3 Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

May 7th 2016

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease that affects the immune system and central nervous system. Although the precise cause of MS remains unknown, experts have made strides to understand the disease. Multiple sclerosis can be caused by a number of factors that range from environmental factors to infections.

Immunologic Factors

Multiple sclerosis is classified as an immune-mediated disease. It causes the immune system to malfunction and start attacking the myelin sheath bordering the nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Although experts have identified that the myelin coating is affected directly, they are unsure what causes the immune system to initially begin attacking its tissues.

Environmental Factors

Epidemiologists have noticed that countries positioned the farthest from the equator experience an increasing number of multiple sclerosis cases. Experts believe a lack of vitamin D can lead to MS. Vitamin D helps facilitate the functions of the immune system. People who live in countries located far from the equator do not receive as much sunlight, and as a result, their bodies do not produce as much vitamin D. As long as the skin is exposed to sunlight, the body naturally creates vitamin D. For that reason, experts believe vitamin D and exposure to sunlight are linked to the disease.

Infections

Researchers believe initial exposure to different bacteria and viruses during childhood might cause MS. Viruses can cause inflammation, which leads to myelin breaking down. This process is known as demyelination, and as a result, researchers suggest a virus or bacteria can trigger multiple sclerosis at an early age.

Conclusion

Although the exact cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown, there are multiple factors that lead to developing the disease. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a neurological disease that affects the functions of the central nervous system. This disease occurs when the immune system begins attacking its own tissues. The central nervous system includes the spinal cord, brain and optical nerves inside the eyes. MS has the ability to cause different medical issues that affect basic body functions, muscle control, vision and balance. Possible causes of multiple sclerosis include environmental factors, infections and immunologic factors.

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