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How multiple sclerosis affects the spinal cord E-mail
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Multiple Sclerosis Questions and Answers

Multiple Sclerosis is classified as an inflammatory autoimmune disease that is constantly progressing due to the demyelination of the fatty myelin sheaths around the spinal cord and brain.

The demyelization directly affects nerve cells’ ability to communicate with each other – this happens both in the brain and spinal cord. What exactly happens? Nerve cells use electrical signals to communicate with each other. The signals are sent through axons, and the axons are wrapped in an insulating substance – the myelin.  The immune system of a person with MS attacks and damages the myelin – needless to say, this doesn’t happen in the body of a person who doesn’t have MS. As myelin is lost, the axons are unable to properly conduct the electrical signals sent by the nerves through various parts of the body. Basically multiple sclerosis means scars or lesions in the white matter of the spinal cord and brain – white matter which is composed mainly of myelin.

Summing it up, multiple sclerosis affects the spinal cord through demyelination which is caused by the person’s own immune system. Even if the mechanism through which MS affects one’s body is known, there is no known cause for MS.

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