Being told that you have MS or Multiple Sclerosis can lead to many questions, from “Why do I have it?” to “What can I do about it?” However once the initial shock of being diagnosed is over the biggest question most people ask is “What is the definition of Multiple Sclerosis?” or in more simple terms what is MS and is there are cure for this disease? Because MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system of the human body our understanding of what it is, is far better than our understand of how to cure it.
The Medical Version
According to the medical community and scientific research the best definition of Multiple Sclerosis is that it is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS) and can cause a wide variety of symptoms at different stages of the disease. These symptoms can be as minor as headaches or slight muscle weakness to being completely immobilized as the muscles are no longer able to function.
Multiple sclerosis invades the body by causing the bodys own immune system to malfunction and actually attack the myelin layer that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord protecting it so that the nerves can continue to send the right signals to the brain. One of the biggest problems with obtaining a true definition of Multiple Sclerosis is that the degree of severity varies from one patient to another and how long it takes to advance is completely unpredictable.
The Scientific Version
If you are interested in a little more in depth look at the definition of Multiple Sclerosis then we need to look at the scientific version as it will cover the details a little better. MS causes the loss of the myelin layer that surrounds both the brain and the spinal cord known as demyelinization. In this process the myelin is destroyed, this layer is made up of lipids and protein and is essential to the nervous system as it protects them and allows the proper transfer of signals to and from the brain.
When this layer is damaged the grey matter layer of the brain known as the cortex can also be damaged in the process. The effects of this damage are usually lesions that can be seen in either an MRI or CT scan. These damaged areas of the myelin layer are the cause of impaired bodily functions as well as the loss of sensations in many ways.
While the disease is still not fully understood researchers do know that the death of nerves caused by MS is a major part of the disease and that there are currently no cures for the disease. There are however many very successful methods of relieving the symptoms and sending into long term remission.