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Multiple Sclerosis Essay

524 words - 3 pages

Multiple Sclerosis is known as the most common autoimmune disease involving the central nervous system. This disease affects approximately 250,000 individuals in the United States. Most people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis are between the ages of twenty and forty, but scientific studies have found there are far more cases of women having MS then men. Although one may be diagnosed with MS at a young age, the mental and physical effects may be life long. The symptoms and severity of MS can not be predicted from one person to another. There are different factors that contribute to the severity of MS. The environment, the person's immune system, and if the patient was exposed to a viral infection are all examples of contributed factors. Some symptoms ...view middle of the document...

Two unlinked genetic loci were related to immune response: Gm and HLA. Evidence was also presented when experimenting with T-cell receptors. Another MS susceptibility gene lies near or within the T-cell receptor beta-chain locus. Further evidence was based on the patterns of linkage disequilibrium.
Multiple Sclerosis was found not to be hereditary, but the genes of a person (sibling or child) help determine whether they are at an increased risk for the development of the disease. Although it has been found that MS is not directly inherited, however, it does involve genetic susceptibility. Within the past twenty years, scientists have developed a set of tools that are able to pinpoint the genetic factors of Multiple Sclerosis. Scientists now believe that a person is only susceptible for MS only if he or she inherits an unlucky combination of alterations in several genes.
Until the early 1900's, physicians relied on superstitions and knowledge of the ancients when it came to Multiple Sclerosis. Doctors did not understand what they observed and what was recorded, but with documentation from back in 1838, signs of MS were recognized from what we know of today. Once physicians started understanding what the disease was, MS was among one of the first diseases to be scientifically explained.
In 1868, Jean-Martin Charcot, a professor of neurology at the University of Paris, who has been called he father of neurology, carefully examined a young woman that complained of tremors that he has never seen before. Other symptoms documented included slurred speech and abnormal eye movements. He then compared these symptoms to other patients that had the same complaints. It wasn't until this woman died and her brain was examined that characteristic scars and "plaques" were found.

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