A Esclerose Múltipla (IN) is a chronic disease, inflammatory, demyelinating and degenerative that most often affects the Central Nervous System (SNC). With higher incidence affects the female gender, and occurs more often in young adults (between 20 e os 40 years), although nowadays MS to begin to manifest at an earlier age and / or the later.
It is an autoimmune disease in which the human immune system is unable to differentiate the cells of your own body cells of strange to him, eventually destroy its own tissues. The main target of this "attack" is the myelin, a layer of protective fat from 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". Numerous areas of the brain and spinal cord are affected by what is called the disease of Multiple Sclerosis.
Prevalence of In
Worldwide it is estimated that there are 2 millions of people with MS. In Portugal it is estimated that more than 5000 Portuguese are people with MS, many still undiagnosed. According to data from GEEM (Study Group of Multiple Sclerosis), near 3500 patients already receiving treatment. The emergence of this disease arises regardless of where they dwell, breed or age, however, are the environmental and hereditary factors, important for its demonstration. More frequent in women with the exception of type Primary-Progressive MS in which the prevalence is similar in men and women.
Geographically we can say that MS has a high incidence (> 30 cases per 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, South Meditrerrâneo, 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 zona Norte da América Sul. O seu diagnóstico é mais frequente volta dos 30 anos de idade, podendo surgir em crianças idosos mas com menos incidência.
The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) is formed by neurons (nerve cells) and glial cells (support and ensure the smooth functioning of neurons). A neuron consists of a cell body with dendritic extensions and an extension called axons. Assure latter for conduction of nerve impulses are involved in a fatty substance which we call insulating myelin isolating the flow of electricity flowing therein and generates nerve impulses.
In the myelin sheath breaks are called "nodes of Ranvier", during which nerve conduction, the myelin sheath allows nerve impulses pass from nodule nodule enabling rapid nerve conduction and effectively.
In MS inflammatory processes damage and / or destroy the myelin sheaths of nerve cells occurring demyelination. At this stage, axons fail to conduct nerve impulses occurring manifestation of neurological symptoms experienced during an outbreak or recurrence of MS, 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 bouts of MS. However if the demyelination was manifested more severe and longer temporally may lead to the destruction of axons even before it can recover the protective myelin sheath.