Chronic Disease : A Disease That Affects The Central Nervous System

1228 Words Dec 5th, 2015 null Page
Chronic diseases can be quite debilitating. A chronic disease is a disease that is long-lasting and can be treated but not cured (Chronic Disease, n.d.). This means that, although the symptoms of the disease may be managed, it will never go away completely. Multiple sclerosis is one of these treatable but incurable diseases. Even with treatment, a person diagnosed with multiple sclerosis will always experience some degree of disability. What is multiple sclerosis? How does it present itself? How can it be treated? These questions will be answered. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system (Macallister, 2013). It is an autoimmune disease, meaning a person’s immune system attacks a normal part of their body, and in this case, a specific part of their nerves (Saunders, 2011). The body’s nerves are made up of neurons, which send messages to and from the brain. Neurons have dendrites attached, containing the cell’s body and axons. The axons are covered with a fatty, insulating substance called myelin. The myelin allows for impulses to be transmitted smoothly (Saunders, 2011). In people with MS, that myelin sheath gets gradually damaged and the impulses can’t be transmitted as effectively as before (Marieb 232). The reason this happens isn’t fully known. Some people develop MS and, although there is scientifically-backed speculation, a definite cause for this has not been pinpointed. This is the case for all autoimmune diseases; it’s hard to…

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