Cause of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis as an Autoimmune Disease

Multiple sclerosis as an autoimmune disease is probably the most widely accepted theory among the scientific community at the present time.

This theory does not rule out other trigger mechanisms, or other factors such as genetics.

Autoimmunity is the term given to the theory that the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissue and as a result causes damage.

In effect, the opposite of what the immune system is supposed to do - protect the body (from invading organisms such as bacteria or viruses).

There are many diseases other than multiple sclerosis which are also referred to as autoimmune disorders such as Sarcoidosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Erythematosus, to name just three.

To be termed as an autoimmune disease, there must be evidence of immune system activity but in the absence of any known pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, etc) to trigger the immune response.

In multiple sclerosis, it is thought that the immune system either mistakenly attacks the myelin believing it to be 'foreign substance', or, that the immune system attacks some other, unknown tissue or organism and the myelin gets damaged in the process.

See also:




Multiple Sclerosis

Approx 50,000 people in Canada have Multiple Sclerosis.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are varied and can occur suddenly, then disappear again just as quickly. There are no specific sets of symptoms applicable to any of the types of multiple sclerosis. Additionally, symptoms of multiple sclerosis tend to vary considerably from one person to another and also to be distant in time... Read More