While the medical model has very little support, many individuals have found ways to beat multiple sclerosis with natural lifestyle strategies.
MS is a condition in which the body's own immune system attacks the fatty myelin sheaths that insulate nerve tissue. This results in scar tissue plaques that disrupt neurological signals throughout the body. MS actually means multiple scars/plaques/lesions. One of the major areas that is affected is the white matter of the brain and spinal cord which is mostly myelin
Multiple Sclerosis Pathogenesis:
Multiple sclerosis affects approximately 400,000 people in the United States alone, and 2.5 million worldwide, most of them being young adults. It expresses itself in four clinical forms: relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive relapsing MD (PRMS).
Approximately 87% of patients present with RRMS, characterized by acute attacks (relapses) followed by partial or full recovery (remission). Patients can manifest with a heterogeneous group of symptoms including changes in vision (unilateral visual loss, diplopia), weakness, dyscoordination, sensory loss or distortions, or changes in bowel and bladder function.
Less diagnostic but also disabling symptoms include cognitive change, fatigue and mood disturbance. Progression of disease may eventually lead to severe disability. Life expectancy is 5 – 10 years less than the normal population.
Chronic Neurological Inflammation:
The MS disease is characterized by chronic inflammation within the nervous system. It is believed to be an auto-immune disease where the T lymphocytes attack the protective sheath (the myelin sheath) around the white areas of the brain including the brain stem, optic nerve, basal ganglia and spinal cord.
The white matter functions to carry signals between the gray matter regions, where the major processing is done and the rest of the body. When the myelin is lost the neuron can no longer effectively conduct electrical signals. The major cells that form the myelin are called oligodendrocytes (OD).
Remyelination and Glial Activation:
The body tries to remyelinate in the early phases of the disease but is unable to because the OD cells are under constant immune attack. As the OG cell numbers go up, the immune system in the brain which is controlled by the microglia cells becomes more active and this results in an aggravation of the MS process.
This is called glial activation and upon repeated destruction of the OG cells and myelin sheath this process leads to scar-like plaques that developed around the damaged neurons.
Additionally, MS is characterized by a breakdown in the blood brain barrier (which protects the brain from toxins, infectious microorganisms and our own immune system) and T lymphcytes which are normally unable to cross the blood brain barrier are able to enter into the neurological tissue. These T lymphocytes agitate more inflammatory mechanisms and promote swelling and further tissue destruction.