Archive | August 2018

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to elevated levels of CRP as a potential risk factor for atherosclerosis.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine

How High C-Reactive protein can risk your chance of Heart Disease!

Your body produces C-reactive protein, or CRP, when something is starting to become inflamed. So if a doctor finds CRP in your blood, which he can do through a test, he’ll know there’s inflammation (or swelling) happening somewhere in your body.If your arteries are inflamed, you have a greater risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease

C-Reactive Protein & Heart Disease Risk

CRP seems to predict the chance of having cardiovascular problems at least as well as cholesterol levels. A recent study found that elevated levels of C-reactive protein led to a three-times-greater risk of a heart attack.

They also were more likely to have a cardiac procedure, like angioplasty (a procedure that opens clogged arteries with the use of a flexible tube) or bypass surgery, than those with the lowest CRP levels.

How Is C-Reactive Protein Measured?

It’s done with a simple blood test. It can be done at the same time your cholesterol is checked.

Your chance of having heart disease is determined based on your test results:

Test Result Risk
Less than 1.0 mg Low
1.0-2.9 mg Intermediate
Greater than 3.0 mg High

It’s important to note that inflammation due to other things, like an infection, illness, or serious flare-up of arthritis, can also raise CRP levels. So before you get the CRP test, make sure to tell your doctor what other medical conditions you have.

When should I be tested for CRP?

If you’re at moderate risk for heart disease, it may help your doctor figure out if you need more intensive treatment.

Those at high risk should be treated aggressively, anyway. So CRP testing isn’t recommended for them.

The more of these risk factors you have, the higher your risk of heart disease:

  • A previous heart attack or stroke
  • A family history of heart disease
  • High total cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Being male or a post-menopausal woman
  • You smoke cigarettes
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure
  • You don’t exercise
  • You’re obese or overweight

What’s the Treatment for High C-Reactive Protein?

It’s important for everyone to make these lifestyle changes to reduce their chance of having heart disease. It’s especially important if your CRP level is intermediate or high:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Get your high cholesterol down.
  • Keep your weight where it should be.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, manage it.
  • If you smoke or use tobacco in another way, quit.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly.

Taking aspirin may help protect you from heart disease if your CRP is high. By thinning your blood it makes the heart pump easier in doing its job.  This puts the heart at less risk of stressing out=lack of oxygen if stressing out=angina (chest pain).  Statins, the most commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, may reduce your risk of heart disease if your CRP is high. Talk to your doctor about which treatments are best for you.

Remember:

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“1 out of every 10 new cases is linked to obesity.  Researchers attributed 500,000 new cancer cases worldwide in just one year to obesity. Carrying too much weight is already a known risk factor for certain cancers, including breast, colorectal and pancreatic.”

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Supporting studies on the link between Obesity and Cancer.

LOOKING AT ACTUAL STUDIES SUPPORTING OBESITY&CANCER LINK

Take for example through the American Cancer Society they stated in an article 2006 that a substantial evidence from clinical trials has established that obesity significantly increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes.  More recently, suspicions that obesity is linked to prostate cancer have been supported by a number of investigations, but the relationship has remained unclear.  Now through a pair of new studies provides scientists with some important insights that may have an impact on how physicians manage their patients with prostate cancer.

The pair of studies show 2 significant studies relating how obesity links with prostate cancer, which were:

The implication is that prostate cancer patients who are obese should probably be followed more closely than patients with similar cancer characteristics who are not obese. That could include regular digital rectal exams, more frequent prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and perhaps setting a lower PSA cutoff point as an indication of recurrence, Kane explained.

The greater risk associated with obesity may be related to technical issues, Kane said. For example, it’s more difficult for surgeons to perform a radical prostatectomy in obese patients. However, surgical challenges offer only a partial explanation. In studies where surgeons verified that they had removed all cancer cells during radical prostatectomy, obese patients were still more likely to experience a recurrence of the disease.

The second study, a multi-center trial coordinated at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC, found that obese men under the age of 63 tend to have larger prostates, which makes finding tumors more difficult. As a result, there’s a real danger of delayed diagnosis, which decreases the chances of a cure and puts patients at greater risk for dying of the disease. The findings appear in the Journal of Urology.

“It’s harder to find cancer in larger prostate glands,” explained Stephen J. Freedland, MD, assistant professor of urology and member of the Duke Prostate Center at the Duke University School of Medicine. “Consequently, our data suggest that we may be underdiagnosing cancers in younger obese men. That also means that the tumors we do pick up are likely to be at a more advanced stage and perhaps more aggressive, and therefore more difficult to treat.”

Let’s look at this at a broader aspect, not just pertaining to prostate cancer.  This would be, “It’s not just patients with prostate cancer that studies like this should be directed toward,” Dr. Kane said. “Patients who are clearly at risk for developing the disease should also take notice of our findings. The central message is yet again that obesity has been identified as an important risk factor for a potentially deadly disease. For all of us, controlling our weight through diet and exercise is important, and we shouldn’t have blinders on and just think of prostate cancer. The number one risk of death for American men is heart disease, so anything we can do to reduce that risk that also reduces the risk for prostate cancer is useful.”  Including it reduces risk for other cancers as well that are impacted by disease, it makes sense.

Obesity links to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

 Let’s look at this no: Atlanta 2009/01/05 -A new epidemiological study has found that among women who have never used menopausal hormone therapy, obese women are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women of normal weight. Published in the February 15, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the research indicates that obesity may contribute to the development of ovarian cancer through a hormonal mechanism. Ovarian cancer is the most fatal of gynecologic malignancies, and has a 5-year survival rate of only 37 percent.

To investigate this issue, Dr. Michael F. Leitzmann of the National Cancer Institute and colleagues studied 94,525 U.S. women aged 50 to 71 years over a period of seven years. The researchers documented 303 ovarian cancer cases during this time and noted that among women who had never taken hormones after menopause, obesity was associated with an almost 80 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer. In contrast, no link between body weight and ovarian cancer was evident for women who had ever used menopausal hormone therapy.

According to Dr. Leitzmann, these findings support the hypothesis that obesity may enhance ovarian cancer risk in part through its hormonal effects. Excess body mass in postmenopausal women leads to an increased production of estrogen, which in turn may stimulate the growth of ovarian cells and play a role in the development of ovarian cancer.

In another study done 2003, American Cancer Society researchers analyzed data based on 900,000 American adults with obesity and cancer that they monitored for a total of 16 years.  This is what they found in their landmark study:

1)The researchers found that the most obese women had a 62% increase in their risk of dying from cancer than women of normal weight; for obese men, the increase was 52%. The wide range of tumor types included colorectal, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, esophageal, kidney, prostate, breast, uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. The researchers conclusion was that above-normal weight was associated with almost 20% of all cancer deaths in the United States. “There’s an incredibly powerful link between obesity and cancer,” says oncologist Joyce Slingerland of the University of Miami, Florida. “Everyone’s heard of obesity’s effect on heart disease and diabetes, and we’re now beginning to understand that the cancer risk is just as great,” she says.

Although researchers and epidemiologists had long suspected that diet and cancer were linked, efforts to explain why being fat makes cancer more deadly have only begun to deliver results in the past decade.

So it is up to the people in society of that country they live in to take on responsible actions to make their country a better for all, not just one.  I say that is becoming as healthy as possible that an individual can reach and without America has the answers in knowing how to make this happen 100% in our country.

A new study from American Cancer Society researchers finds it’s not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death.

My final study supporting how obesity links with cancer:

Just think if this was you or someone you know in the world and this happens to you or them; GOD FORBID, but you can help yourself through prevention with losing the weight or just staying slim and tone if you already are.  This will just decrease your risk of getting the cancer.

The JCCC study, led by Dr. Guido Eibl, JCCC member and professor-in-residence in the department of surgery at David Geffen School of Medicine, revealed that mice made obese with high-calorie, high-fat diets developed abnormally high numbers of these lesions.

This is the first study to show a direct causal link in an animal model between obesity and risk of this deadly pancreatic cancer.  The JCCC study, led by Dr. Guido Eibl, JCCC member and professor-in-residence in the department of surgery at David Geffen School of Medicine, revealed that mice made obese with high-calorie, high-fat diets developed abnormally high numbers of these lesions. This is the first study to show a direct causal link in an animal model between obesity and risk of this deadly pancreatic cancer.

The mice eating the normal diet gained an average of approximately 7.2 g over 14 months. Mice on the high-fat, high-calorie diet more than doubled this with an average weight gain of 15.9 g.

Pathological tests showed that mice fed the normal diet had mostly normal pancreases with very few scattered PanIN lesions=intraepithelial neoplasias=precursors to pancreatic lesions.  They are used as markers but can only be seen microscopically so a biopsy is needed.  The mice fed high fat & cholesterol in their diet had significantly more PanIN lesions with less overall healthy pancreases.

The study showed that the mice fed a diet high in fats and calories gained significantly more weight, had abnormalities of their metabolism and increased insulin levels, and had marked pancreatic tissue inflammation with the development of PanIN lesions.

These observations suggest that such a diet like this which leads to weight gain, metabolism disturbances, pancreas inflammation and pancreas lesions that are precursors to cancer.

Obviously research is showing obesity has a link with cancer.  We now know this information let’s make a move America and people elsewhere to become a healthier nation including world.  For diversity is the US and other countries filled with all cultures, races and genders need to learn this knowledge to help make their country whether they were either born there and stayed or those born elsewhere moving to a new country, like America and we the people making up the country need to be responsible not just for yourselves but for your children and future generations in spreading good habits, good dieting, and good exercise to prevent high disease in the country for yourself and your children and the future generations by being a good role model in thinking=live healthy not unhealthy.  In time this would play an impact on your countries economy and health care system in how its run.

References:

1 –American Institute for Cancer Research, Schernhammer ES et al. Circulating levels of insulin-like growth factors, their binding proteins, and breast cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Mar;14(3):699-704 ES et al. their binding proteins, and breast cancer risk—Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Mar;14(3):699-704/ AICR ScienceNow /Volume 16/Spring 2006

2 – Studies Help Clarify Link Between Obesity and Prostate Cancer Article date: March 2, 2006 Impact of Obesity on Prostate Cancer Recurrence After Radical Prostatectomy: Data from CaPSURE.” Published in the Nov., 2005 Urology (Vol. 66, No. 5: 1060-1065). First author: William W. Bassett, University of California, San Francisco.“Obesity, Serum Prostate Specific Antigen and Prostate Size: Implications for Prostate Cancer Detection.”Published in the Feb. 2006 Journal of Urology (Vol. 175, No. 2: 500-504). First author: Stephen J. Freedland, MD, Duke University School of Medicine.

3 –Director, Medical & Scientific Communications
American Cancer Society
david.sampson@cancer.org
  Article: “Body mass index and risk of ovarian cancer.” Michael F. Leitzmann, Corinna Koebnick, Kim N. Danforth, Louise A. Brinton, Steven C. Moore, Albert R. Hollenbeck, Arthur Schatzkin, and James V. Lacey, Jr. CANCER; Published Online: January 05, 2009 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24086); Print Issue Date: February 15, 2009.

4 –Medical News Today-“Direct  Link to Obesity and Pancreatic Cancer” Author Belinda Weber

5 – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America –Article “Link between obesity and cancer” by Sarah C.P. Williams-Science Writer

6 – National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of health – Under their national cancer fact sheet regarding their article “Obesity and Cancer Risk”.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“First brought to the attention of the medical community by war veterans; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.”

MAYO CLINIC

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Many risk factors revolve around the nature of the traumatic event itself.

Traumatic events are more likely to cause PTSD when they involve a severe threat to your life or personal safety: the more extreme and prolonged the threat, the greater the risk of developing PTSD in response. Intentional, human-inflicted harm—such as rape, assault, and torture— also tends to be more traumatic than “acts of God” or more impersonal accidents and disasters. The extent to which the traumatic event was unexpected, uncontrollable, and inescapable also plays a role.

PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.

What factors affect who develops PTSD?

PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.

Women’s changing role in our military

A growing number of women are serving in the US military. In 2008, 11 of every 100 Veterans (or 11%) from the Afghanistan and Iraq military operations were women. These numbers are expected to keep rising. In fact, women are the fastest growing group of Veterans.

What stressors do women face in the military?

Here are some stressful things that women might have gone through while deployed:

-Combat Missions.                                                                                                                                                             –Military Sexual Trauma (MST). A number of women (and men) who have served in the military experience MST. MST includes any sexual activity where you are involved against your will, such as insulting sexual comments, unwanted sexual advances, or even sexual assault.

-Feeling Alone. In tough military missions, feeling that you are part of a group is important.

-Worrying About Family. It can be very hard for women with young children or elderly parents to be deployed for long periods of time. Service members are often given little notice. They may have to be away from home for a year or longer. Some women feel like they are “putting their lives on hold.”

Because of these stressors, many women who return from deployment have trouble moving back into civilian life. While in time most will adjust, a small number will go on to have more serious problems like PTSD.

How many women Veterans have PTSD?

Among women Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost 20 of every 100 (or 20%) have been diagnosed with PTSD. We also know the rates of PTSD in women Vietnam Veterans. An important study found that about 27 of every 100 female Vietnam Veterans (or 27%) suffered from PTSD sometime during their postwar lives. To compare, in men who served in Vietnam, about 31 of every 100 (or 31%) developed PTSD in their lifetime.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD for anyone experiencing this disorder:

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

There are four types of symptoms of PTSD, but they may not be exactly the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way.

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms). You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  3. Having more negative beliefs and feelings. The way you think about yourself and others may change because of the trauma. You may feel guilt or shame. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. You may feel that the world is dangerous and you can’t trust anyone. You might be numb, or find it hard to feel happy.
  4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal). You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Or, you may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. You might suddenly get angry or irritable, startle easily, or act in unhealthy ways (like smoking, using drugs and alcohol, or driving recklessly.

Can children have PTSD?

Children can have PTSD too. They may have symptoms described above or other symptoms depending on how old they are. As children get older, their symptoms are more like those of adults. Here are some examples of PTSD symptoms in children:

  • Children under 6 may get upset if their parents are not close by, have trouble sleeping, or act out the trauma through play.
  • Children age 7 to 11 may also act out the trauma through play, drawings, or stories. Some have nightmares or become more irritable or aggressive. They may also want to avoid school or have trouble with schoolwork or friends.
  • Children age 12 to 18 have symptoms more similar to adults: depression, anxiety, withdrawal, or reckless behavior like substance abuse or running away.

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These may include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems, including divorce

What helps? Research shows that high levels of social support after the war or event the person has gone through were important for those women  and men Veterans including those not veterans.

Will people with PTSD get better?

“Getting better” means different things for different people. There are many different treatment options for PTSD. For many people, these treatments can get rid of symptoms altogether. Others find they have fewer symptoms or feel that their symptoms are less intense. Your symptoms don’t have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.

What can you do to find help?

If you are having a hard time dealing with your wartime memories, there are a number of things that you can do to help yourself. There are also ways you can seek help from others.

  • Do things to feel strong and safe in other parts of your life, like exercising, eating well, and volunteering.
  • Talk to a friend who has been through the war or other hard times. A good friend who understands and cares is often the best medicine.
  • Join a support group. It can help to be a part of a group. Some groups focus on war memories. Others focus on the here and now. Still others focus on learning ways to relax.
  • Talk to a professional. It may be helpful to talk to someone who is trained and experienced in dealing with aging and PTSD. There are proven, effective treatments for PTSD. Your doctor can refer you to a therapist. You can also find information on PTSD treatment within VA at: VA PTSD Treatment Programs.
  • Tell your family and friends about LOSS and PTSD. It can be very helpful to talk to others as you try to place your long-ago wartime experiences into perspective. It may also be helpful for others to know what may be the source of your anger, nerves, sleep, or memory problems. Then they can provide more support.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of all, try not to feel bad or embarrassed to ask for help. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of wisdom and strength.

Don’t let PTSD get in the way of your life, hurt your relationships, or cause problems at work or school.

PTSD treatment can help.

Learn what treatment is like to help you make choices about what’s best for you.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s important to seek help right away. The sooner PTSD is confronted, the easier it is to overcome. If you’re reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past.

TYPES OF TREATMENT:

  • Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD and trauma involves carefully and gradually “exposing” yourself to thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma. Therapy also involves identifying upsetting thoughts about the traumatic event–particularly thoughts that are distorted and irrational—and replacing them with more balanced picture.
  • Family therapy. Since PTSD affects both you and those close to you, family therapy can be especially productive. Family therapy can help your loved ones understand what you’re going through. It can also help everyone in the family communicate better and work through relationship problems caused by PTSD symptoms.
  • Medication is sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used for PTSD. While antidepressants may help you feel less sad, worried, or on edge, they do not treat the causes of PTSD.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sounds. Eye movements and other bilateral forms of stimulation are thought to work by “unfreezing” the brain’s information processing system, which is interrupted in times of extreme stress.

When looking for a therapist for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seek out mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. You can start by asking your doctor if he or she can provide a referral to therapists with experience treating trauma. You may also want to ask other trauma survivors for recommendations, or call a local mental health clinic, psychiatric hospital, or counseling center.

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Today multiple sclerosis (MS) is not a curable disease. Effective strategies can help modify or slow the disease course, treat relapses (also called attacks or exacerbations), manage symptoms, improve function and safety, and address emotional health.”

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

 

Part II What is Multiple Sclerosis!

Disease course

Most people with MS have a relapsing-remitting disease course. They experience periods of new symptoms or relapses that develop over days or weeks and usually improve partially or completely. These relapses are followed by quiet periods of disease remission that can last months or even years.

Small increases in body temperature can temporarily worsen signs and symptoms of MS, but these aren’t considered disease relapses.

About 60 to 70 percent of people with relapsing-remitting MS eventually develop a steady progression of symptoms, with or without periods of remission, known as secondary-progressive MS.

The worsening of symptoms usually includes problems with mobility and gait. The rate of disease progression varies greatly among people with secondary-progressive MS.

Some people with MS experience a gradual onset and steady progression of signs and symptoms without any relapses. This is known as primary-progressive MS.

Causes

The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It’s considered an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In the case of MS, this immune system malfunction destroys myelin (the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord).

Myelin can be compared to the insulation coating on electrical wires. When the protective myelin is damaged and nerve fiber is exposed, the messages that travel along that nerve may be slowed or blocked. The nerve may also become damaged itself.

It isn’t clear why MS develops in some people and not others. A combination of genetics and environmental factors appears to be responsible.

Risk factors

These factors may increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis:

  • Age. MS can occur at any age, but most commonly affects people between the ages of 15 and 60.
  • Sex. Women are about twice as likely as men are to develop MS.
  • Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has had MS, you are at higher risk of developing the disease.
  • Certain infections. A variety of viruses have been linked to MS, including Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis.
  • Race. White people, particularly those of Northern European descent, are at highest risk of developing MS. People of Asian, African or Native American descent have the lowest risk.
  • Climate. MS is far more common in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, the northern United States, New Zealand, southeastern Australia and Europe.
  • Certain autoimmune diseases. You have a slightly higher risk of developing MS if you have thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Smoking. Smokers who experience an initial event of symptoms that may signal MS are more likely than nonsmokers to develop a second event that confirms relapsing-remitting MS.

Complications

People with multiple sclerosis also may develop:

  • Muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Paralysis, typically in the legs
  • Problems with bladder, bowel or sexual function
  • Mental changes, such as forgetfulness or mood swings
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy

Rx:

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).  Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms can differ greatly from patient to patient.”

MAYO CLINIC

Part I What is MS-Multiple Sclerosis, the causes & how it is diagnosed?

MS=Multiple Sclerosis is a long-lasting disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions.

The effects are often different for everyone who has the disease. Some people have mild symptoms and don’t need treatment. Others will have trouble getting around and doing daily tasks.

MS happens when your immune system attacks a fatty material called myelin, which wraps around your nerve fibers to protect them-an outer shell. Without this outer shell, your nerves become damaged. Scar tissue may form and transmission of signals from brain to the nerve endings with messages to do functions are obstructed in allowing the body to do functions.

This damage means your brain can’t send signals through your body correctly. Your nerves also don’t work as they should to help you move and feel.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

It can be a challenge for doctors to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS). There’s no one test that can definitely show if someone has it. And there are many conditions with symptoms that can seem like MS.

But a neurologist who specializes in treating the disease should be able to look into how you’re feeling and help you figure out if your symptoms mean you have MS or another problem.

The causes of MS – Multiple Sclerosis:

Doctors don’t know for sure what causes MS, but there are many things that seem to make the disease more likely.

People with certain genes may have higher chances of getting it.

Smoking also may raise the risk.

Some people may get MS after they’ve had a viral infection — like the Epstein-Barr virus or the human herpesvirus 6 — that makes their immune system stop working normally. The infection may trigger the disease or cause relapses. Scientists are studying the link between viruses and MS, but they don’t have a clear answer yet.

Some studies even suggest that vitamin D, which you can get from sunlight, may strengthen your immune system and protect you from MS.

Some people with higher chances of getting the disease move to sunnier regions seem to lower their risk; like my cousin from the NJ to South Carolina.

Diagnostic Tooling done for ruling out multiple sclerosis is:

*Imaging tests, like an MRI– to take a closer look at your brain. Magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, or magnetic resonance tomography is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to image the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body in both health and disease. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, radio waves, and field gradients to form images of the body.

MRIs can reveal areas of MS (lesions) on your brain and spinal cord. You may receive an intravenous injection of a contrast material to highlight lesions that indicate your disease is in an active phase.

*Spinal taps, also called lumbar punctures, to check the fluid that runs through your spinal column  When doctors do this test, they’re looking closely at the fluid in your spine, called cerebrospinal fluid, for higher levels of proteins and other substances that are signs of the disease. These can be helpful in diagnosing MS, but they’re not absolute proof of the condition. Your doctor can tell you if you need to have a spinal tap

*Electrical tests, called evoked potentials, to see if MS has affected your nerve pathways.   Electrical tests of your nerves, called evoked potentials, can help doctors confirm if the condition has affected the parts of your brain that help you see, hear, and feel. Your doctor will place wires on your scalp to test your brain’s response as you watch a pattern on a video screen, hear a series of clicks, or get electrical pulses on your arm or leg.

The MD record the electrical signals produced by your nervous system in response to stimuli. An evoked potential test may use visual stimuli or electrical stimuli, in which you watch a moving visual pattern, or short electrical impulses are applied to nerves in your legs or arms. Electrodes measure how quickly the information travels down your nerve pathways.

*Blood tests. Tests to check for specific biomarkers associated with MS are currently under development and may also aid in diagnosing the disease.

Stayed tune to Part II tomorrow regarding signs/symptoms and modern treatments!