The Human Brain : From Neurone to Nervous System


  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects conduction in axons within in the CNS by damaging the myelin sheath provided by the oligodendrocytes.

  2. MS is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the oligodendrocytes; inflammation generates plaques, areas of sclerosis within the brain.

  3. Plaques are thought to be due to a breakdown locally of the blood-brain barrier, an infiltration of lymphocytes and macrophages, and the activation of microglia.

  4. The myelin of the peripheral nervous system provided by Schwann cells is not affected by this disease.

  5. This results in patients having problems with muscle movement, balance and vision. Patients also feel fatigue.

  6. Patients with MS may experience symptoms either intermittently or building up fairly continuously over time (relapsing and progressive forms).

  7. Between attacks, the symptoms may disappear completely, but more commonly the neurological problems become permanent, especially as the disease advances.