Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system. It is a demyelinating disease which interferes with communication between components of the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord, often leading to physical, mental, and psychiatric impairment. MS can occur in isolated attacks (relapsing form) or build up over time as a progressive disease. Between attacks, symptoms may disappear completely, but permanent neurological loss is common over time.
About 2.3 million people were affected worldwide in 2015 with rates varying widely among different regions and populations. Onset usually begins between 20 and 50 years of age and is more common in women. Life expectancy is on average 5 to 10 years lower than that of an unaffected population.
While the cause is not clear, the underlying mechanism is thought to be autoimmune in nature. Proposed causes for this include genetics and environmental factors.
Of note, "stress constitutes a risk factor for diseases where the immune system plays a significant role. Stress is recognized as a possible trigger for flare ups during the course of multiple sclerosis (MS)."1 It is precisely due to this reasoning that Inmedix is actively assessing how ANS stress state, through immuno-autonomics, may influence MS severity and perhaps someday guide clinicians to achieve better treatment outcomes.
1Schurmann R, Adamaszek M, Sommer N, Kirkby RC. Stress, depression and antidepressant treatment options in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. Curr Pharm Des 2012;18(36):5837-45.