4 Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
There is no definitive answer to the question “what causes multiple sclerosis?”, but scientists believe it could be a combination of several factors. Researchers are working hard to help determine the cause of MS so that it can be better treated, prevented and of course at some point, cured.
We’ve put together a list of possible causes of multiple sclerosis with help from information from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Researchers have found that the prevalence of MS is higher the further away from the equator you get, which has led them to believe that vitamin D (or a lack of it) may play a large role in the development of multiple sclerosis. Higher levels of vitamin D are thought to help support the immune system and reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases like MS.
Smoking has also been linked to multiple sclerosis in some studies and quitting smoking is thought to slow down the progression of the disease.
Although MS is not considered a genetic disease, having a parent or sibling with multiple sclerosis will increase a person’s risk of developing the disease. Scientists have discovered that populations with high rates of MS tend to have a higher prevalence of certain genes. Many believe that some people have a predisposition for the condition which is then triggered by environmental factors.
It’s possible that bacterial or virus infections caught in childhood or early adulthood may trigger MS in later life. However, despite numerous research projects in this area, scientists have been unable to point to any particular virus or infection that triggers MS.
The myelin which surrounds nerve fibers in the CNS is attacked in multiple sclerosis patients and scientists haven’t been able to ascertain which immune cells are responsible. Work continues in trying to determine why and how this happens and if it can be prevented, stopped or slowed down.
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