2-Minute Neuroscience: Multiple Sclerosis
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  • Release Date: 2024-04-07
  • central nervous system
  • paralysis
  • neurological symptoms
Video Introduction

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Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a central nervous system disorder that involves the abrupt appearance of neurological symptoms, which usually occur for the first time between the ages of 20 and 50. The symptoms of MS vary from person to person, and almost any nervous system function can be disrupted in the disease. The most common initial symptoms involve visual disturbances, abnormal sensations, and weakness. The causes of the disease are not fully understood and are thought to involve genetic and environmental factors.

Multiple sclerosis is characterized by damage to the myelin sheaths surrounding the axons of neurons in the central nervous system. This myelin damage disrupts the conduction of action potentials along these axons, which is thought to cause many of the symptoms of the disease. The myelin damage can also lead to the deterioration of axons. The brains of MS patients can contain evidence of this damage in the form of plaques or lesions that are visible with some types of neuroimaging.

The reason these attacks on a patient’s myelin occur is not fully understood, but the damage in MS is most commonly attributed to an autoimmune attack. According to this hypothesis, the immune system in a patient with MS targets myelin, treating it as foreign. This autoimmune attack and the associated inflammatory response leads to damage to myelin, axons, and glial cells. What prompts the autoimmune attack is not known, however, and some have argued that MS is caused by a persistent infection instead. 

Either way, MS seems to involve excessive immune system activation in some respect, and the drugs that have proven most successful in treating it act to reduce inflammatory or other immune responses.[1]

  1. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, Lamantia AS, McNamara JO, White LE. Neuroscience. 4th ed. Sunderland, MA. Sinauer Associates; 2008.
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Challenged, N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Multiple Sclerosis. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1193 (accessed on 25 May 2024).
Challenged N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Multiple Sclerosis. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1193. Accessed May 25, 2024.
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Multiple Sclerosis" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1193 (accessed May 25, 2024).
Challenged, N. (2024, April 07). 2-Minute Neuroscience: Multiple Sclerosis. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1193
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Multiple Sclerosis." Encyclopedia. Web. 07 April, 2024.
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