Monthly Archives: April 2013

How Can You Get Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS
for short, is believed to be an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system which consists of you brain, optic nerves, and
spinal cord. How do you get MS you ask? Well, for starters, it’s not
a contagious disease, you can’t “catch” Multiple Sclerosis, much like
you can’t catch Parkinson’s disease or Celiac disease.

People are most commonly
diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis between the ages of 20 and 50 years
old, though, I have met people as young as 15 years of age with MS!
Multiple Sclerosis is generally more common among woman, about 3/4 of
the people diagnosed with MS are woman, and 1/4 are men. Some studies
suggest that there are genetic factors involved that can cause
someone to be at a predisposition to get MS but there is no
scientific proof that this theory is true thus far. The disease
generally effects Caucasians and less commonly effects people of
African, Asian, or Hispanic decent but it does happen. According to the National MS Society, over
2.1 million people worldwide are effected by Multiple Sclerosis but
honestly it’s hard to get an accurate number with the massive amount
of undiagnosed cases out there due to the difficulties of diagnosing
someone with Multiple Sclerosis.
Many people also believe
that Multiple Sclerosis is caused by environmental factors such as
diet or vitamin D deficiency. Just the same as theories on genetic
causes, there is no scientific evidence that MS is the result of an
environmental issue. In my personal opinion, I believe that you may have
a genetic predisposition for MS and then some sort of environmental trigger
flips the switch on your (we will call it) “MS gene”. I can only
base this on what I see out there among MS patients. I have seen
people who have MS and a twin with MS along with people who have MS
and a twin who does not. If twins are genetically identical then that
(in my opinion based on a limited knowledge) rules out the possibility that Multiple Sclerosis is
a strictly genetic disease or else both twins would have MS. But suppose only one of two twins has MS, I would imagine that means both twins have the gene for MS and
only one twin was exposed to something environmental that triggered
the “MS gene” and consequently activated the disease. Of course these are just my thoughts, no
science.
Bottom line? You can’t
catch MS and there is no way to predict who develops it and who does
not. Some say that if you have a parent or sibling with MS you have a
1 to 3 percent chance of getting Multiple Sclerosis compared to the
general population who has less than 1/10 of 1 percent of a chance of
getting MS.
Here are some random statistics on Multiple Sclerosis:
(Thanks to Statisticbrain.com – Source: Public Health Department – 6/20/2012)

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