Scary, right? The thought of it sends shivers down the spines of most people. The idea that you could be susceptible to a certain medical condition based on your gene, gender, or even place of birth is enough to unsettle even the most astute of human beings. Unfortunately, this is the reality some people have to contend with.
Scientists and doctors are increasingly finding themselves between a rock and a hard place to explain why some people are genetically predisposed towards certain health conditions. They are further hard pressed to provide answers as to what exactly causes such medical conditions whose development in one or the other is beyond their control.
One such health condition, is multiple sclerosis (MS). Multiple Sclerosis is a health condition that affects your spinal cord, optic nerves, and in the worst case scenario, your brain. In simple terms, multiple sclerosis, whose cause is relatively unknown and the subject of immense research by scientists and medical practitioners alike, attacks the body’s central nervous system.
The effects of this condition is that it interferes with one’s ability to move their muscles properly, affects their balance, affects vision, and ultimately interferes with a couple of body basic functions. Currently, the overriding belief is that the condition is the result of a combination of environmental factors and genes.
This is why any strategy geared towards multiple sclerosis prevention should consider the genes of the patient and environmental factors to which one is exposed. Some scientists believe that people carrying a certain gene are also prone to attacks by specific viruses that trigger MS.
Gender is to Blame for MS
The patient’s gender is crucial in determining whether he or she needs to worry about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It is interesting to note that more women than men appear to suffer from multiple sclerosis. This has given rise to the conclusion, or belief, that hormones play a significant role in the development of MS.
The fact that MS falls within the broad category of autoimmune diseases also provides some idea regarding its causes. An autoimmune disease refers to a condition whereby the immune system carries out an attack against the tissues, which in the case of MS, means the destruction of myelin that offers protection to nerve fibers.
Ethnicity and Age Plays a Role in Development of MS
Scientists have noticed that multiple sclerosis is more common among the Caucasians than among any other group. The Hispanics and African-Americans have also shown a higher susceptibility to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Among such ethnic groups, developing effective strategies for multiple sclerosis prevention becomes the difference between life and death.
A person who falls within the aforementioned ethnic groups and is aged between 20 and 40 years has a much higher chance of developing MS. If such a person smokes and has a close relative who was diagnosed with MS, his chances of developing the same increases significantly.
Place of Birth Increases the Likelihood of MS
The thought that the place of birth increases the possibility of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis fills many people with trepidation. A person’s place of birth is totally out of their control. Nobody can control or choose where they are born. A person born in any location that is to the north of the equator has a much higher chance of ending with MS diagnosis.
A person born in early spring is also likely to suffer diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. What this indicates is that there is a correlation between the exposure to sunshine and the likelihood of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
In a nutshell, while some of the aforementioned reasons as to why some people are susceptible to MS than others is beyond ones control; one, like the place of birth, can ultimately be nipped in the bud. Granted, that is easier said than done. However, if you can put in place measures, by all means do exactly that!