- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
- That is to say, the defense system (immune system), usually involved in the fight against viruses and bacteria, packs and attacks myelin, has gained the protection of nerve fibers that play an important role in spreading. the nervous influx of the brain to different parts of the body.
“Multiple sclerosis is a serious disease. It’s true that when this diagnosis is announced, either patients don’t know it or they immediately see the disability, the cane, and the wheelchair.” explains Jérôme de Sèze, professor of neurology at the University Hospital of Strasbourg and specialist in autoimmune diseases and neuro-ophthalmology. “However, it is a disease whose prognosis has completely changed in 20 years, especially with the arrival of new, ultra-early and increasingly effective therapies, which have made it impossible to improve the comfort of life.” continues the specialist.
The appearance of neurological problems that affect different functions (motor skills, sensitivity, vision, balance, coordination of movements …) and evolution through poussées, initially regressive, is very reminiscent of multiple sclerosis. Doctors talk about inflammatory outbreaks „Disseminated in time and in the central nervous system”.
But the symptoms can be much more misleading, especially in the case of mood problems (depression or manic disorder), which can lead to bipolar disorder, when it comes to demyelinating plaques affecting the limbic system, located in the brain. deep.
120,000 people in France in question
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of young adults, often diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35. It mainly affects women, who make up three-quarters of patients. 120,000 people in France are affected by the disease today, and 3,000 million new people are diagnosed each year.