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Specialty scores for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Around 400,000 people in the US are diagnosed with MS ; it is commonly diagnosed in early adulthood and is twice as common in women as men . In MS, inflammation damages the protective coat around nerves (the myelin sheath), which reduces the efficiency of message transmission down those nerves.
Since its formal conceptualization in the 1940s, autoimmune disorders have attracted immersive debates from medical professionals, researchers, philosophers, social theorists and anthropologists. Through all these decades of untiring efforts, the understanding of the operational elements of autoimmunity has proved to be labyrinthine task, and current familiarity with the underlying disharmony represents the tip of the iceberg. Though many etiological theories have attracted the eyeballs, in the current context, autoimmune disorders are believed to arise due to molecular mimicry and hygiene hypothesis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative neurological condition, whose incidence seems to be rising. A 2015 study from Norway found that the incidence had increased 10-fold over a 40-year time period, and currently affects around 200 in every 100,000 people . Multiple sclerosis affects the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibres. Myelin acts as in insulator, with neural signals ‘jumping’ insulated areas, thus allowing the signal to pass more rapidly along nerve fibres. When myelin is destroyed by Multiple sclerosis, signals pass much more slowly.
Minstream journalism outlets and social media have recently been flooded with pictures of babies in South America born with heads smaller than the normal size, a condition known as microcephaly. This new epidemic was linked to the Zika virus, a virus that is transmitted to the pregnant mother by a mosquito bite and causes the deformity in the fetus. This virus is actually not as new as it seems, though. It has been documented in previous literature since the 1940s and has caused multiple outbreaks in both French Polynesia and Asia (1). However, because of the proximity to the USA of the recent outbreak caused by the virus in South America, the Zika virus has been thrust into the spotlight.