What the F**k is MS

A few people have asked me what is MS. When I first heard it it I thought is that the yuppie disease? Nope that’s ME and I still get asked that a lot.

Well The S Is for sclerosis which literally means scars. So MS is lots of scars. The scars are on the nerves in the brain and the top of the spine.

The scars are caused by the body’s own defences attacking the nerves. So the cells that are designed to destroy invading virus and bacteria turn on it’s own body and damage the nerves.

The nerves are covered in a protective sheath called Myelin. It works like the plastic on wire and helps the signals travel down the nerves and stops them shorting. This allows you to walk, swallow, think and see, plus all the other things nerves do.

MS strips the myelin off the nerve leaving it open and so the signals don’t travel down the nerves properly. The symptoms of this can be, temporary blindness, can’t walk, swallowing problems, cognitive issues etc etc.

There are a few drugs available to help reduce the effect of the symptoms but you have to start taking them soon after a new attack. Debs doesn’t have new damage so can’t have any MS drugs.

The body naturally tries to repair the damage and does a very good job. After a few years though it slows down and then stops. They are working on drugs that keep this mechanism going into old age. Hopefully reducing most of the effects of MS.

There are some precursors to MS including Glandular Fever, some DNA markers and vitamin D absorption as a child. The further from the equator you were brought up the more likely you are of getting it. The only place that bucks this trend in Europe is Norway because of the amount of fresh fish they eat makes up for the lack of sunshine.

I have tried to keep this simple, If you want to know any more give me a shout.

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