MS and MD
















What is Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy?


In multiple sclerosis (MS), the body's immune system appears to attack the outer layer of the nerves, particularly in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve, eventually breaking this layer (called myelin) down. This means that signals sent along those nerves are slowed down or cannot travel at all. Muscular dystrophy (MD), on the other hand, is genetic. In most cases, a gene that controls the production of certain types of proteins doesn't work correctly, causing muscle fibers to break down.


What causes Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy?


MS is more common in women than men, which is also true of other autoimmune diseases. How genetics plays a role in multiple sclerosis isn't clear, but people who have family members with the disease are much more likely to develop it as well. Types of muscular dystrophy, include limb-girdle, myotonic, fascioscapulohumeral (FSHD), and congenital MD, can affect both men and women. There are congenital forms of MD that are present at the time of birth, whereas other types often developwhen a person is in his or her teens or 20s.


Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy?


Because diagnosing MS can be very difficult, a neurologist who specializes in treating MS should evaluate your symptoms. As many as 10% of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis actually have some other condition that mimics MS. Damaged muscles release enzymes, such as creatine kinase (CK), into your blood. In a person who hasn't had a traumatic injury, high blood levels of CK suggest a muscle disease — such as muscular dystrophy.