I attended a lecture by Dr. Carlo Tornatore, Chairman of the Neurology Department at Georgetown University Medical Center, about multiple sclerosis (MS) last Tuesday (10/10) at Georgetown and learned some fascinating facts about this debilitating autoimmune disorder, among them:
*The cause of MS is considered multifactorial: It appears to involve an infectious agent, a genetic predisposition, and environmental factors, which combined, result in an abnormal response by the immune system, such that white blood cells destroy the myelin covering of neurons.
*Vitamin D affects the onset and course of multiple sclerosis. Sun exposure actually mitigates against MS.
*The farther a person lives from the Equator, the lower risk she/he has of developing MS.
*If one identical twin has MS, the other twin has a 30 percent of developing it, too–this is a high concordance rate.
*Seventy-five percent of all MS patients are women.
I’ll tell you more about what I learned in a blog on Monday. Please check back.