What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis affects the nerves and brain, and it is a lifelong condition that currently has no cure. The range of symptoms a person can experience are incredibly varied. About 2.3 million people worldwide have an MS diagnosis. There is no definitive test that can diagnose MS. Instead, doctors will check for lesions in the brain and spinal cord, which could signal that a person has multiple sclerosis. Because there are so many varied symptoms, MS can actually be difficult to diagnose. But what actually causes MS in the first place?

Walter Gefrom is a project manager and civil engineer who is passionate about multiple sclerosis awareness and advocacy. He is a proud supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and participates in Walk MS events

MS is considered to be an autoimmune condition. Essentially, this means that the immune system can’t recognise that something is actually part of the human body, and so attacks it. The immune systems of people with MS attack specifically the myelin sheath, which is located in the brain and spinal cord. Scientists do no actually know what causes this to happen, but there are some suggested risk factors:

  • Genetics
  • Lack of vitamin D
  • Smoking
  • Obesity in teenage years
  • Viral infections
  • Being female

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