A Esclerose Múltipla (E.M.) is a chronic disease, inflammatory, demyelinating and degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system (SNC).

Reaches with the highest incidence females and occurs more often in young adults (between 20 e os 40 years), although these days the M.S. if you begin to manifest at an earlier age and / or more late.

It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unable to differentiate the cells of your own body from foreign cells him, eventually destroy its own tissues. The main target of this "attack" is the myelin, a protective fatty layer of the nerve fibers that aids in the transmission of information throughout the human body.

When an "outbreak" occurs, formed hardened scars that are grouped together forming the familiar "sclerosis" or also called "plaques". They are affected many areas of the brain and spinal cord that is called by this disease Multiple Sclerosis.

Prevalence of In

It is estimated that there are 2 million people with M.S.

In Portugal it is estimated that more than 8000 Portuguese are people with MS, the diagnosis is more frequent around the 30 years old, may arise in children and the elderly but with less incidence.

According to GEEM (Study Group of Multiple Sclerosis), near 3500 carriers are already receiving treatment. Multiple sclerosis arises regardless of where it dwells, breed or age. However environmental and hereditary factors, They are important to its manifestation. More frequent in women except for M.S. Primary-progressive type where the prevalence is similar in men and women.

Geographically M.S. It has a high incidence (> 30 cases 100.000 people) in much of Europe, Russia, Canada, northern USA, Southeastern Australia and New Zealand;

An average incidence (between 5 a 30 cases 100.000 people) the southern U.S., largely Australia, South Africa, Southern Mediterranean, Siberia, Ukraine and certain areas of Latin America.
A low incidence (< 5 casos por 100.000 habitantes) na maior parte do continente Asiático, Africano e na zona Norte da América do Sul.

Multiple Sclerosis

The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) It consists of neurons (nerve cells) and glial cells (that support and ensure the smooth functioning of neurons).

A neuron consists of a cell body with dendritic extensions and a called extension axon. Estes, to ensure the conduction of nerve impulses are wrapped in a fatty substance, and insulating myelin we call.
Myelin isolates the electricity flow flowing therein generating nerve impulses. In the myelin sheath breaks are called "nodes of Ranvier", during which nerve conduction, allow nerve impulses pass nodule in nodule allowing rapid and effective conduct.

Demyelination

na E.M. inflammatory processes damage and / or destroy the myelin sheaths of nerve cells occurring demyelination.

At this stage, axons can not conduct nerve impulses occurring manifestation of neurological symptoms felt during an outbreak or recurrence of M.S., neurological deficits which vary according to the location of the regions where demyelination occurred.

When inflammation is present leaves the myelin there may be substituted in which case the recovery of neurological function, as occurs in temporary outbreaks of M.S.. However, if the expressed demyelination is more severe and longer temporally may lead to the destruction of axons before being able to recover the protective myelin sheath.

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