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Pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis

InBrief

by Frasat Chaudhry, MD


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex chronic disease that causes inflammation and demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS). It is an immune-mediated disorder associated with inflammation and disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Patients experience axonal and neuronal damage as the disease progresses.




The Roots of MS

Genetic and environmental factors may be related to the etiology and pathogenesis of MS. However, no evidence implicates one particular causative factor.


No autoantigen, antibody, or infectious agent has been directly associated with MS. On the other hand, autoreactive lymphocytes apparently gain access to the CNS and trigger a pathologic series of events leading to demyelination, neuroaxonal degeneration, synaptic loss, oligodendrogliopathy, and, finally, tissue loss and astrogliosis. Demyelination, the hallmark of MS, involves the white matter and the cortical and deep gray matter. Further, T and B lymphocytes are involved in disease pathogenesis. Axonal injury, noted from the earliest disease stage, has a significant role in physical and cognitive disability related to this progressive condition.


In addition, numerous environmental factors have a suspected relationship with the development and progression of MS. No clear association with any particular entity has been established, although low sunlight exposure, vitamin-D deficiency, obesity, and smoking have shown the strongest evidence for a relationship to the disease....

More about Multiple Sclerosis:

Types of MS

Diagnosing MS

Conclusion

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frasat Chaudhry, MD

Dr. Chaudhry is a practicing neurologist and assistant professor of Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. She is board-certified in Neurology. Dr. Chaudhry received her medical degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and completed her internship in Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and her residency in Neurology at Loyola University Medical Center. Her fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology was completed at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Chaudhry’s interests and areas of expertise include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.


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