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Multiple Sclerosis - Research Paper Example

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Multiple Sclerosis Name of Instructor Name of Institution Date Introduction Multiple sclerosis is described an idiopathic inflammatory disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS) and is pathologically characterized by axonal damage and demyelination (Courtney, 2006)…
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Multiple Sclerosis Research Paper
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Download file to see previous pages Consequently, there is no defined medication to cure the disorder (Courtney, 2006). However, various treatments are available to lessen its severity and slow down its progression. This paper will describe the statistics on the disease, a summary of the disease and resources available to manage it. Statistics on Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is diagnosed in individuals aged between 20 and 40 years. Although it is not possible to determine the actual number of individuals affected by the disease, it is estimated that there are about 2.1 million people affected by the disease globally (Trisolini, et al., 2010; Courtney, 2006). In a study conducted by the World Health Organization and Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) to determine the prevalence of the disease in 122 countries globally, it was found out that the median prevalence is 30 persons in every 100,000 (Trisolini et al., 2010). In US, it is estimated that the number of people affected by MS stands at between 250,000 and 350,000. Furthermore, it is estimated that about 200 cases are diagnosed every week (Trisolini et al., 2010). Other countries with high MS prevalence as found in the study are shown in the table below. Table I showing prevalence of MS in different countries Country Prevalence of MS per 100,000 persons Hungary 176 Slovenia 150 Germany 149 US 135 Canada 133 Czech Republic 130 Norway 125 Denmark 122 Poland 120 Cyprus 110 Source (Trisolini et al., 2010) Overview of the disease MS is not contagious and researchers have also ruled out the possibility of one directly inheriting the disease. However, there are various factors thought to play a role in the disease. This include one’s gender where women get affected by the disease twice as much as their male counterparts. Additionally, an individual’s age may come to play in the disease considering most diagnoses are done on persons aged 20 to 50 (Carroll, 2010). The ethnic background of a person is also a critical factor where there are more Caucasians than whites affected by the disease. MS is a rare among some ethnic groups such as among Japanese and has never been identified among Africans, Eskimos, Blacks, Inuits and Aborigines. The further the people are from the equator, cold climate and latitude are risk factors in occurrence of MS (Carroll, 2010). MS is a central nervous system disease, which comprises the spinal cord and the brain. The disorder causes damage to a protective insulation called myelin which surrounds nerves referred to as axons (Calabresi, 2007). The damage may also extend to the nerves and CNS as a whole. The resulting effects are that messages from the spinal cord and brain could short circuit thereby leading to reduced or lost functioning of the body (Carroll, 2010). A majority of researchers describe MS as an autoimmune disease where white blood cells get misguided and instead of fighting disease causing organisms, they attack body cells (Courtney, 2006). This attack leads to CNS inflammation and could damage myelin and eventually injuring the nerves. The areas which experience inflammation are referred as active lesions and plaques refer to scar tissue where myelin gets destroyed. The number, size, and location of plaques and lesions determine the form and severity of the signs (Rolak, 2001). In deep the disease got its name from a discovery of many plaques and sclerosis describes scars. Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, visual disorder, numbness, dizziness, tremor ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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