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Multiple Sclerosis

Brain scan showing changes in multiple sclerosis over a month. Courtesy Wikimedia

Brain scan showing changes in multiple sclerosis by month over a year’s time. Courtesy Wikimedia

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by patchy inflammation of the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells that produces multiple and varied neurologic symptoms and signs due to demyelination.

Q: What does demyelination mean.

A: Demyelination means there is damage to the myelin sheath which is a fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve cells much like a the covering of a lamp cord keeps the electricity flowing within it from the plug to the light bulb. This damage impairs transmission of nerve impulses between the brain and body.

In the process of demyelination, T-lymphocyte cells that are activated and potentially autoimmune cross the blood-brain barrier and produce inflammatory plaques and axonal tissue loss in the brain, spinal cord or optic (vision) nerves. The end result is the accumulation of gliosis (scarring) and demyelination of areas in the central nervous system.1

The course of multiple sclerosis is unpredictable and slowly progressive, usually with  exacerbations (worse symptoms) and remissions (relief of symptoms).

Multiple sclerosis affects about 1 ‰ of the population worldwide.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Rodrigo L, Hernández-Lahoz C, Fuentes D, Alvarez N, López-Vázquez A, González S. Prevalence of celiac disease in multiple sclerosis. BMC Neurol. 2011 Mar 7;11:31. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-11-31. 

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