Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes the immune system to attack the nervous system. When a person has an MS attack, the immune system attacks myelin, a substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. Once these are attacked, there is damage to the nerve and this means that messages from the brain to parts of the body are disrupted. This causes loss of feeling or numbness, pain, loss of sight, and eventual loss of mobility.
There is no proven theory about how MS is developed but it is known that it is not contagious. The disease does not seem to be inherited, though if a first-degree relative (a sibling or parent) of yours has it, it means you may likely be more susceptible to developing the disease. Women are twice more likely to develop MS, though there is nothing that suggests diet, lifestyle choices, or exercise have anything to do with it either.
There are several treatment options out there for MS; medication and therapy can be combined to relieve symptoms and prolong life though there is still no cure. While life expectancy for those with MS is thought to be the same as for those without it, there can be complications caused by the disability incurred by the disease. If a patient is not treated promptly and properly on diagnosis, there can be a list of problems that arise later on, including immobility.
Multiple sclerosis has 2 extremes: 1) a ‘benign syndrome’ where years, even decades, after a diagnosis, very few, if any symptoms have shown themselves. There may have been lesions found in the brain, though this is the extent of the disease for a long time after. 2) the Marburg variant of multiple sclerosis. Symptoms occur and worsen rapidly after diagnosis.
There is no way that anyone can prevent MS as the cause has yet to be found. While leading a healthy lifestyle is certainly good for you, and will give you long-term benefits, it cannot stop the development of the disease.
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