Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis in the Elderly

Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis in the Elderly

May 7, 2015 - 5:10 pm

Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis in the Elderly

Health is truly the most important and valuable wealth we have. However, there are some things which we cannot control, but we can take the situation and try to control it with the best of our abilities. Just like that, Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a medical condition in which there is damage caused to the brain’s central nervous system (CNS).

MS and the elderly

MS and the elderly

The CNS contains millions of brain cells which send and receive electrical messages to and from the brain. This part of the brain controls speech, cognition, memory, sensation, and movement of our body. In MS, our immune cells mistake us as danger to ourselves and attack our myelin sheath; this causes nerve damage, leading to MS. There are a couple of possibilities behind this serious condition.

1.    Immunologic

Multiple Sclerosis is considered to be an immune related disease, which attacks the body by fault. Immunologic could be one of the possibilities as a malfunction can trigger MS to attack the CNS. MS targets the myelin sheath directly; however, there has been no discovery about the reason why MS is triggered and why it attacks the CNS.

Research is still being carried out to find the cause behind this peculiar behavior of immune cells and why they attack the CNS directly. The cause of this cell attack is yet to be uncovered.

2.    Genetic

We receive our genes from our parents, who got theirs from their parents, and they from their parents and so on. It is believed that many genes are involved in the breakout of Multiple Sclerosis. If there is someone in the family who has, or who had this problem, there is a slightly higher chance of you also developing this condition through the genes. However, this happens when a close relative like a sibling, parent, or aunts and uncles from the paternal side have or had it.

Scientists believe that if MS is present in an individual due to the genes, there is a 2-5% chance of them being a target of it. This immune disease is activated in our body through some of its triggers if encountered or exposed to. These triggers remain unidentified and uncertain.

3.    Environmental

Epidemiologists associate the role of Vitamin D with Multiple Sclerosis. This is because most of the cases which have come forth with this condition have been found to be in countries which are further away from the equator. Vitamin D plays a very big part in our immune system, having a deficiency of it or having too much can cause the body to react in different ways. Our bodies can be compared to a sponge, if there is too much, your body cannot store all of it. However, if you keep a sponge out in the sun for too long and do not expose it to water, it dries up looking very weary.

The more sunlight you are exposed to, the more vitamin D the body is able to make. Since MS is an immune related disease, it can be linked to the amount of vitamin D present in the body. Lack of vitamin D is common in the elderly, which is why MS is mostly diagnosed in them, especially in females.

4.    Infections

Infections and bacteria are possible reasons behind MS. Some viruses and infections as well as bacteria cause inflammation and breakdown of myelin sheath. Thus, possible risks of developing MS are highly possible. Some of the bacteria which play a major role in this include measles, Epstein-Barr, and human herpes virus-6.

The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home senior care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a private duty home care agency that provides elder home care services and infant services in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.


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