A neurological disease that affects our central nervous system, multiple sclerosis can be caused by various factors. It is often triggered by smoking, stress, heat, and medication. Here are some of the most common causes of MS.
MS happens when our immune system malfunctions and starts attacking our central nervous system. Scientists found that this happens through the process of demyelination – the attack on the myelin sheath by our immune system. However, scientists are still not sure which of our immune cells are involved in this process.
If you have a close relative, parent, or a sibling that has MS, your chances of getting it are slightly higher. In fact, if one of your closest relatives (one of your parents or a sibling) has MS, your chances of developing the condition are increased by up to five percent.
Scientists have found that one key environmental factor may play an important role in MS – sun exposure. The more sun exposure we get, the more vitamin D our bodies are able to produce. And, since vitamin D is essential for our immune system, it makes sense that it can help against MS.
These claims are confirmed by the fact that the prevalence of MS is lower in the sunniest places on Earth.
There are several bacteria that can cause demyelination. These include the human herpes virus-6, measles virus, and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). All of them are currently being researched for their possible effects on MS.
While we still can’t say for sure whether a person will develop MS, these common causes of MS can help doctors make solid predictions. As new discoveries keep being made, we are closer to developing new treatments to stop the development of this disease.