Multiple sclerosis, abbreviated as MS is a long-lasting disorder which affects the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerve in general. It can also be said that MS is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system starts attacking the myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers as a protection.

Can MS Be Detected In A Blood Test?

There is no specific blood test which can detect multiple sclerosis, but some symptoms which are similar to MS can be depicted through blood test. These symptoms include Sjogrens, Lupus Erythematosis, deficiencies of vitamins and minerals, few infections or some rare hereditary disorders. While a simple blood test is unable to detect MS; other costly tests like MRI, scanning of brain, analysis of CSF, nerve response test etc may detect it, but again the test is not positive for all the patients. Some patients might show a negative response even after suffering from MS.

So, how this disorder is diagnosed if blood test and other costly tests are unable to detect it? How is it treated? What are the latest advancements for its treatment? To know the answers of all these questions we need to know more about Multiple Sclerosis and its symptoms.

Causes And Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disorder of nervous system which affects the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerve. In this disorder the body’s immune system starts attacking the fatty myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers. When the myelin sheath is attacked it gets disintegrated and it starts showing various symptoms. The range of symptoms may range widely in different patients depending on the severity. In less severe or mild cases, there may be numbness in the limbs or few other parts of the body. In severe cases there may be paralysis or loss of vision.

However, it is not at all predictable that how MS will progress in different people. Every year thousands of cases of MS are added in the record. It is more common in women than men and usually occurs from the age of 20-50 years.

Anatomy Of Multiple Sclerosis

We know that the MS affects the central nervous system, but the reason behind is somewhat unclear. The nerve fibers of central nervous system are covered by a fatty layer known as myelin sheath which protects the nerve fibers. This myelin sheath not only protects them, but also helps them in proper nerve impulse conduction. In the patients of MS, the immune system starts attacking the myelin sheath and it starts disappearing at different areas leaving scars or sclerosis. This disease is termed as multiple sclerosis because the scars are developed at multiple areas on a nerve fiber.

The sections of nerve fibers where there is no myelin sheath are called plaques or lesions. As the severity of lesions increases the nerve fibers gets damaged and ultimately breaks. Due to this breakage, there is no or weak electrical impulse conduction from the brain within the nerves. This is the case when there is less degeneration of the nerve fibers and the symptoms are mild. When the myelin sheath gets completely disintegrated, there are no electrical impulses at all and there is no transmission of messages from brain to different part of the body. This is the extreme severe case and leads to vision loss or paralysis.

Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis

There is no particular treatment for multiple sclerosis, only the symptoms can be managed and the autoimmune responses are suppressed through proper medication.

Conclusion

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disorder of nervous system which affects the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerve. In this disorder the body’s immune system starts attacking the fatty myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers. The range of symptoms may vary in different patients depending on the severity, according to which the treatment is done in less severe or mild cases; there may be numbness in the limbs or few other parts of the body. In severe cases there may be paralysis or loss of vision.

References:

https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/diagnosis/the-tests-for-ms

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 3, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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