Conditions which affect the brain, spinal cord or central nerves system are considered neurological. There are 100’s of known neurological conditions and because of this symptoms and severity can vary considerably. Common symptoms include; severe fatigue, bladder problems, partial or complete paralysis, muscle weakness, partial or complete loss of sensation and changes in cognitive abilities.
Multiple Sclerosis, (MS) is incurable and is the most common neurological condition that affects young adults in the UK. Roughly three times as many women as men are living with the condition. MS actually means 'many scars'. These words are used to describe a major disease of the nervous system, which literally becomes 'scarred' and stops functioning properly. A very simple way of describing what goes on in MS is to compare the nerves that run throughout our bodies to electrical wiring - like the wiring in a house. The wire carries electrical signals, and is insulated by a plastic coating. Our nerves conduct signals around the body - rather like the wire, and are also insulated. The insulating material is called 'Myelin', and it is this that gets damaged in MS.
Areas of the Myelin become inflamed (as yet the cause of this is uncertain), the body then tries to heal this damage with a little 'scar' or 'plaque' which prevents the signals from passing easily through the affected nerve any more. Short circuits and muddled messages happen instead of easy conduction - just like damaged wiring.
The Nervous System runs all the main functions of the body. The illustration below shows how nerves are connected to the brain and fan outwards from the Spinal cord. In MS, damage can occur almost anywhere, but usually takes place in the brain and the spinal cord itself.