Multiple Sclerosis

By Lauren M. and Brittany R.

What is it?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, or long lasting, disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves, which can affect the brain and spinal cord. The nerve damage caused by multiple sclerosis leads to many problems, including muscle weakness, blurred or double vision, difficulty with balance, uncontrolled movements, and depression.

Additional Symptoms: Fatigue, Bladder problems, Dizziness, Speech problems, Tremors.

The symptoms, severity, and duration can vary from person to person.

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How It Is Caused

The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is still unknown. However, recent research has suggested that distance from the equator increases the odds of getting MS, indicating that sunlight can help protect against it.

Cell Signaling Pathway

Multiple Sclerosis is affiliated with the Neuroendocrine System, which is based on interactions between the Endocrine system and the Nervous System.


Immune function is helped by two kinds of white blood cells. The “B cells” produce antibodies. The “T cells” are responsible for a variety of other immune responses. These responses include:

  1. direct attacks on foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses, or foreign tissues;
  2. augmenting the B cell response
  3. producing substances called cytokines that direct responses and activities in other immune cells.

When a person has Multiple Sclerosis, these T-cells attack the myelin sheath that surround and protect the nerve fibers. When this myelin is destroyed, signals that usually travel from the nodes that separated the sheath into sections can escape at the wrong intervals.

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The number one area of the chromosomes, which contain the genetic information, that is linked to susceptibility in MS is called the human leukocyte antigen. This cluster of genes determines how white blood cells recognize targets to attack.
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Current Direction of Research

MS researchers, in recent years, have found new understandings of the genetic make up of the disease and continue to look more into the cause of it . Also, researches have found more drug treatment options and techniques to repair the damage of MS, such as the use of 8 new oral medications, that could help prevent relapses and perhaps slow the overall effects of MS.