What Are The Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis or known simply as (MS) is an autoimmune disease, a disease which affects how the body protects itself against illness. In the case of multiple sclerosis, the body mistakenly attacks myelin, the fatty protein that covers the nerves in the central nervous system that we all need for our body to function correctly.


The exact cause of MS is unknown but there are contributing factors which research suggest may increase the likelihood of developing the disease.

MS can be triggered by a combination of four factors:

  1. Genetic - the ingredients that created you

  2. Environmental - how we live & External Influences

  3. Infectious factors - some viruses, and in rare cases bacteria, can start MS

  4. Immunologic factors - abnormal immune response which causes inflammation

Genetic Factors

  • Your genes - although MS is not known to be a hereditary disease you are more likely to develop it if someone in your family has been previously diagnosed. Hereditary diseases are also better known as things that run in your family. Everything that is passed down through your genes, so everything given by your parents to make up you as an individual. The chromosome’s that your parents pass can sometimes have no problems at all, they lie dormant but when mixed with other factors can create a range of diseases.

  • Being female – this does not mean males are unable to develop MS but you are at a higher risk of developing the disease if you are female.

Environmental Factors

  • Lack of sunlight and Vitamin D

  • Smoking

  • Teenage obesity

  • Viral infections, it has been suggested that infections might trigger the body to develop MS.

Infectious Factors

It is said that MS Is not genetic and it cannot be attributed to a single gene.

Although it can happen more than once in a family it is unlikely.

Evidence suggests that some viruses, and in rare cases bacteria, can start MS.

The Epstein Barr has been linked to MS but because most people have had this virus without triggering MS It shows it might play a role but is not the main cause.


Immunologic Factors

With Multiple Sclerosis the Immune system mistakes the myelin sheath in the brain and spinal cord as a foreign substance. The myelin sheath is a layer shielding the nerve cells, similar to insulation around an electrical wire. When this layer of Insulation Is damaged it causes infection which disrupts the function of the nerves. When this layer of Insulation Is damaged it causes infection which disrupts the function of the nerves. The messages traveling along these nerves are either slowed down, scrambled or simply sent the wrong way.


Though at the moment the true cause of MS has not been found, research continues to find out more about the disease and hopefully a cure.

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