According to previous findings multiple sclerosis is based on several factors that interact in this disease. At the center of MS disease is the immune system, in which a part of the defense cells wrongly directed against the body's own tissue - the protective sheaths (myelin sheaths) of the nerve fibers - and there triggers an inflammatory response. However, what causes causes of this misdirected immune reaction (autoimmune disease) is unclear.
Is MS triggered by a viral infection?
As early as the late 19th century, scientists suspected that infection could be the cause of inflammation in multiple sclerosis. Infections with viruses in childhood are still suspected as triggers, such as the pathogens of rubella and measles or the Epstein-Barr virus.
Other environmental factors such as a lack of sunlight and vitamin D are also discussed as potential MS causes. It is also being discussed that brain venous drainage (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, CCSVI) may be one of the causes of multiple sclerosis.
MS as hereditary disease
In addition, there is probably a genetic component that inherits at least a tendency for multiple sclerosis. Due to the inflammatory processes, the insulating sleeves of the nerves are destroyed at various points in the brain or spinal cord (demyelination). As a result, there suffers the transfer of information and there are failures of these nerves otherwise supplied with information areas - such as the eyes or the skin.
However, the inflammations can also go unnoticed. Often, these resolve again and the MS symptoms improve or disappear altogether.