Essay Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis is a complex, autoimmune disease caused by damage of the fatty myelin sheaths around axons of the brain and spinal cord which leads to demyelination, lesions (scaring) and inflammation1, 2, 3. This damage leads to disruption of nerve impulse along axons resulting in the many symptoms seen in multiple sclerosis patients. Although its exact etiology is unknown, current research indicates that multiple sclerosis is a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. It has been established that multiple sclerosis is not inherited but research is being focused on genetic influence and suceptibility3. Like many other diseases with genetic components to their etiology, disease risk for multiple sclerosis can be…show more content…
Results are consistent with the IL2/IL2R pathway in its role of controlling autoimmunity since the IL2/IL2R pathway controls immunity through proliferation and survival of T cells. In addition this pathway maintains peripheral T-cell tolerance, which, when not kept in check by regulatory T cells will result in autoimmunity leading to damage of the myelin sheaths around axons. Reduced function of regulatory T cells has been detected in multiple sclerosis patients1, pointing to reduced function of the IL2/IL2R pathway due to genotypic variation. A similar study investigating the genetic role of IL7/IL7RA pathway in multiple sclerosis susceptibility was conducted through genotyping and statistical analysis of genotypic distributions, in multiple sclerosis patients and controls, who were matched ethnically, by gender and age. Results show that polymorphisms in IL7 not only indicate statistically significant association with the disease but higher estimated genotype relative risks as well2. The IL7/ILRA pathway is involved in development, maturation and survival of T and B cells, contributing to the body’s immune system2. Autoimmune response can result from the modified function of the pathway due to genetic variation of IL7 or IL7RA genes. Results of the study show that genetic variations in the IL7/IL7RA play an important role not only in the

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