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Naked Nerves
 

Cartoon illustration of inside view of a house with different rooms and cartoon characters in the rooms and colourful electrical cablesYour immune system is powerful – it is there to do battle with infectious bugs and keep them from making you sick. But in Multiple Sclerosis your body’s immune system also attacks tissues in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve.

Your immune system specifically attacks the myelin sheath stripping away this protective covering, leaving nerve fibres in the central nervous system (CNS) exposed.

Why is myelin so important? Your brain communicates via electrical signals and, just like the electrical cables in your house, the ‘wires’ in your brain need to be insulated. When the immune cells attack and strip away the insulating myelin sheath, they expose the nerve fibres, called axons, leaving them open to damage. The demyelinating lesions associated with MS compromise the brain’s ability to communicate with itself and with other parts of the body. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, it may lead to sensory, motor, and visual symptoms and impaired cognitive function.

Even though 45 – 65% of people with MS will experience cognitive impairment, many are unaware that this is a symptom of the disease. Even fewer know that there are things that anyone with MS can do to stave off cognitive symptoms associated with the disease.

Visit the HEALTH section to learn what actions you can take to minimise the impact of myelin damage on cognitive function and what strategies you can adopt to maximise cognitive functioning if you are already experiencing symptoms.

Back to Cognition 101 

 
 
Hello Brain For more info on brain health visit Hello Brain
 

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