In detail

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and its biopsychosocial implications

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and its biopsychosocial implications


  • 1 Neurophysiological basis of Multiple Sclerosis
  • 2 Some symptoms of MS
  • 3 Multiple sclerosis in the world
  • 4 MS and Pregnancy
  • 5 MS and its psychological aspects
  • 6 Treatments for MS
  • 7 Innovative treatments & recommendations
  • 8 Conclusion

Neurophysiological basis of Multiple Sclerosis

Our vital functions and motor activities are regulated by the nervous system (SN), this as a consequence of electrical impulses and biochemical reactions. Neurons, basic units of the Nervous System (SN), are involved in the conduction of impulses, through motor pathways, which exit through motor or mixed nerves, which beautiful branches of a tree from the cerebrospinal axis. Thus, the nerve fibers reach the somatic muscles directly without interruption, from their start in the central nervous system (CNS) when the body is in balance.

Roughly, the muscles and glands of the body modify their intrinsic activity or go into activity through this superhighway of information that are the nerve fibers and like the cables, they are covered with different materials for their protection and good conduction of the electrochemical messages between the brain, the spinal cord and the rest of the body, thus protecting the conduction, through myelin, which is a multilaminar structure formed by the plasma membrane that surrounds the axons, thus allowing the transmission of nerve impulses, thanks to its insulating effect, this coating is known as myelin sheath.

When there is damage to myelin, it is totally or partially blocked so that it affects the neurological transmission of messages, because it occurs more slowly, which results in a reduction or loss of functions, with the psychosocial connotations that this implies.

On the other hand, the immune system defends the body against invading attacks from outside, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. It does so by searching and destroying intruders as they enter the body, that is: constantly if its function is adequate. Substances capable of triggering an immune response are called antigens.

T cells, made in the thymus gland, seem to play an important role in multiple sclerosis. As which patrols, they travel regularly throughout the body, to detect external invaders, identify each specific antigen and know how to respond to them; They also help other cells make antibodies. Since the T cells can attack the other cells directly, so they must be able to discriminate between "own" cells from the uncomfortable external assailants.

In autoimmune diseases, such as MS, the immune system seems to improperly identify the body's own tissues as tissues outside it and begins a war towards myelin, which it cannot recognize. Thus crossing the blood-brain barrier and causing damage to the nervous system.

Some symptoms of MS

Multiple sclerosis within its clinical framework is polysymptomatic, like most, and may include: paresthesias such as numbness, itching or "tingling" sensations (abnormal and transient sensations); visual disturbances (double vision is frequent), fatigue, lack of balance, pain, tremor, muscle weakness, spasticity, deterioration of the senses of touch, moderate to severe pain, visual disturbances, ataxia, tremor, vertigo, urinary dysfunction, disorders intestinal, fatigue and sexual dysfunction, among others. They may have difficulty speaking and even walking in some cases.

Commonly, Multiple sclerosis manifests initially as a series of attacks followed by total or partial remissions, which sometimes makes it difficult to diagnose the disease early.

The course of MS is a chameleonic condition, as it may resemble other neurological disorders, so its prognosis is difficult and with it its treatment, as is known: “What is optimal for one organism is not for another” . Have you heard that you're only Y special? Well, believe it because it's true! Each person is unique, although similar and their ways of reacting to a stimulus are different, we can observe this phenomenon in people who experience similar circumstances… “As it is outside, it is inside”: This also occurs in organisms even from their biochemistry.

As research on MS progresses, new information is generated about the genetic component of the disease, although it is worth mentioning that it is not hereditary, however, there has been progress in the identification of possible triggers that precipitate its appearance in certain population groups with different environmental influence.

Multiple sclerosis in the world

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and neurodegenerative disease, 70% of cases occur between 20 and 40 years, 70% of cases are women, according to data from the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN). It has a presence throughout the globe: 2,500,000 people around it, of which 47,000 are in Spain, 600,000 in Europe. A population of between 250,000 to 350,000 people in the United States with diagnosed multiple sclerosis. This estimate indicates that approximately 200 new cases of MS are diagnosed each week in this country, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Vascular Accidents (NINDS-National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

It constitutes one of the most common causes of neurological disability in the young adult, with the burden this entails for individuals, their community and public health. It is characterized by the recurrence of neurological events in different areas of the CNS, with varying degrees of recovery. Eventually, up to 50% of subjects with a remitting course will develop a progressive clinical course of the disease.

Populations such as gypsies, Eskimos and Bantus, never get multiple sclerosis. Native Americans from North and South America, the Japanese and other Asian peoples have very low incidence rates of MS. It is not clear whether this is mainly due to genetic factors or to environmental factors. Different studies show us that the unknown geographical or climatic element may actually be simply a matter of genetic predilection.

For inconclusive reasons, Multiple sclerosis is 5 times more prevalent in temperate climates, possibly at the age of puberty or immediately after it, patients may have contracted an infection with a long latency period, reflecting factors of racial and ethnic susceptibility, which play a role in determining the susceptibility of a person to develop it.

Nevertheless, If a person in a family has MS, first-degree relatives, as they are: parents, children and siblings, they are more likely than usual to get the disease. In part, this effect may be because they have all been exposed to something that is in their environment, having a 1% to 3% chance of contracting the condition.

EM and Pregnancy

It is very important to consider the influence of the disease during pregnancy, since multiple sclerosis usually attacks during the reproductive years, one of the most common concerns among women with the disease is: Can I conceive a healthy child or not? For every nutritious mother wishes for her child the most precious goods, including health.

Since multiple sclerosis usually attacks during the reproductive years, many Women with the disease have concerns about pregnancy. Even if Studies have shown no adverse effects during pregnancy, childbirth and delivery.

In fact,symptoms often stabilize or are reduced during pregnancy. It is believed that this temporary improvement during pregnancy has a link with the changes in the immune system of the female, which allows the body to house and accommodate a baby.

During pregnancy, a natural process occurs to suppress the mother's immune system in the womb during pregnancy. However, women with multiple sclerosis who wish to get pregnant need to take into account that some medications used to treat MS should be suppressed during pregnancy and lactation. Well, they can cause birth defects, acting as teratogenic agents and others transmitted to the fetus through blood and breast milk to your infant.

It is important to give them care, support and love, or at least containment, so that in this way, they do not develop postpartum depression, anxiety and other conditions that could affect the healthy bond with the child, the psychological component could affect the good milk production maternal, so important for the baby, especially colostrum. Between a 20 and 40% of women with multiple sclerosis have a relapse three months after delivery. It is necessary to prevent this and to be supported and provide multidisciplinary follow-up with a good team of health professionals that include medical specialists and psychologists. To be "Good chest" as my admired Melanie Klein said.

MS and its psychological aspects

This condition affects people, usually when they start their working life and fervently wish to carry out their personal projects, as statistics show us. However, remember that the "most productive" age in many ways, it happens between 40 and 60, because within these ages, the person usually has the maturity and resources necessary to be supportive and support, at least in some sense for future generations and for those who preceded and nurtured him in his development, although not necessarily. As in many chronic diseases, certain links can be broken or worn out, due to ignorance and lack of empathy that exists about this disease, both of the patient and others. So It is necessary to sensitize the general population about these issues.

“Human work has become a consumer good… Man has transformed himself into a consumer good, and feels his life as a capital that must be profitably invested; If he succeeds, he will have “triumphed” and his life will make sense, otherwise he will feel “failed. Its value lies in the price you can get for your services, not in your qualities of love and reason or in your artistic ability. Hence, the meaning that has its own value depends on external factors and that feeling successful, is subject to the judgment of others. Hence he lives pending the judgment of others, and that his security resides in conformity, in never departing more than two steps from the flock. Erich Fromm

It is necessary to be supported so that it transcends fear, denial and does not delay its treatment, Acceptance is one of the first steps towards the biopsychosocial healing of the individual.

Given the confusing nature of the disease and sociocultural factors, they can develop anxiety, emotional fragility, mood disorders and depression. They can present cognitive alterations such as speech difficulties, with the consequences that this entails.

Approximately 50% of people with multiple sclerosis experience cognitive impairment which is not as perceptible as it is generally mild, such as difficulties in attention, memory and speech, mainly psychologists can determine it through special tests to measure each of these aspects; because those who suffer from it can hardly notice it, since they are immersed in the problem, often in the confusion and other difficult processes to face. It is often a family member or friend who first notices the deficit. Such impediments are generally mild.

A 10% of patients suffer more severe psychotic disorders, such as manic depression and paranoia. 5% of patients may experience inappropriate episodes of euphoria or despair. In severe cases, it has been observed that pathological laughter and crying syndrome (emotional lability) can occur, they have been associated with the elimination of myelin in the brain stem, as it is the area of ​​the brain that controls facial expression and emotions. As the disease progresses, sexual dysfunction can become a problem that weakens the relationship.

Can represent a great emotional and economic burdenFor the costs of the disease, this happens both in patients and in their families or those who cohabit with the patient and public health institutions. Medical follow-ups, care services and even modifications to vehicles and the home, can be difficult to assimilate to all involved.

Erratic symptoms of multiple sclerosis can affect the whole family as patients' ability to work may deteriorate. Serious support groups that include patients, as well as health professionals, counseling and counseling, They can help patients with multiple sclerosis, their families and friends to find ways to deal with the adversities that the disease can cause.

Treatments for MS

Myelin lesions can be reversible on many occasions. Every patient with a diagnosis of MS, even with an outbreak-remission clinical pattern, should receive modifying treatment, according to to medical consideration, because they determine this according to their injury, inflammatory reaction, level of loss of cortical tissue, their specific response to certain therapeutic processes and their evolution, among other aspects, do not be fooled by people who profit from the pain of others, promising remedies . It is advisable to deal with specialists for the complexity of the disease and with psychological support, so as not to make the condition more difficult.

Therefore, programs and health professionals, we must fight a more inclusive and informed global community, and that we can understand that what makes us special and unique are precisely our differences, there is wealth and beauty in diversity, no alone it is about repeating in the mirror like lorito affirmations that you are special, give yourself the opportunity and know yourself, identify your qualities both the “positive” or convenient, such as what they usually call “negative”, personally, I prefer to say : "Areas of opportunity to improve" or "inconvenience", as they are for the quality of life of the subject, especially for the unknown and those around him.

Psychologists can help you identify your skills and talents. And how to develop many more and discover many things that you previously imagined unrealizable, make sure that you are well trained in these types of topics so that it can be of help and do not lead you more to confusion and frustration. You can check:What is talent? Small guide to recruit staff

Innovative treatments & recommendations

Therapies to improve nerve impulse conduction are being increasingly studied, both in drugs and complementary therapy to adequate medical and psychological treatment, With Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (TCMP) can be of great help. Because the transmission of electrochemical messages between the brain and the body is disturbed in multiple sclerosis, this therapy helps improve nerve impulse conduction, since myelin-deprived nerves show abnormalities in potassium activity.

Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy, among other benefits, improves the condition of the skeletal muscle system, It increases the strength of the muscles and tendons, while accelerating the recovery of bone tissues when there are fractures. Promotes blood flow in veins and arteries, stimulating the formation of new blood vessels. Activates the regeneration of venous and arterial endotheliums.

Regenerates cells by activating your metabolism by increasing cell function, this through the movement of ions through the cell membrane, oxygenation and growth factor increase. It is a stimulus bioregenerator at the cellular level promoting the formation of collagen and that of the endothelium. Accelerates wound healing and ulcers. Have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Stimulates the regeneration of cartilage and bones. It helps to balance cell PH, among other benefits, remember that it is a complement to orthodox treatment.

In the Imperial College of London (IC) of the United Kingdom. A novel therapy has been developed with the ability to retain the progression of MS for up to 5 years.

The antigen-concentrated therapies contribute to remyelination and focus on reversing the damage caused to myelin and oligodendrocytes.

It is suggested the ozone therapy In addition to traditional orthodox treatment, it provides multiple benefits and relieves many of the symptoms of this disease.

It is advisable for the patient to consume linoleic acid, essential polyunsaturated fats Omega 3, with good concentrations like the EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the Dha (docosahexaenoic acid) and the DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) through high-quality heavy metal-free Omega 3 supplements, otherwise you continue to contribute to poisoning. Other dietary resources include megavitamins, including a higher intake of vitamin B12 or vitamin C. Look closely at the labels they have to have at least FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval, although I prefer approval by the European Community, as they have much higher quality standards.

It is convenient to include in the diet the consumption of sunflower seeds, saffron flowers and avoid sweeteners, alcohol, tobacco, energy drinks and stimulants, drugs, as well as black tea.


As in many of the chronic degenerative conditions, the body can become a prison, since some capacities can be lost, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is affected, sometimes it has to be reached to depend on the others, which is not easy most of the time.

I hope that one day inclusion can be part of the current human condition, if we refuse to accept our differences (own and others) and learn to live in respect and harmony, mark differences without understanding, they have only taken us through history to barbarism, wars and catastrophes both personal and social on a large scale. It is natural that the unknown and unexplored generate fear, but only to a certain extent.

Could it be that sometimes human behavior is similar to autoimmune diseases, in the sense that we are attacking ourselves for "not recognizing" these differences? An exercise of will is necessary to try to understand others, respect and establish healthy limits, whatever they may be, and help overcome them. Otherwise, the trend is destructive from cells to our psyche and social behavior. Which is also a condition is also "human ... too human."

Find out and consult with health professionals, I leave some informative resources that can be of help, if you are interested in the subject:

Information Resources

BRAIN P.O. Box 5801 Bethesda, MD 20824 (301) 496-5751 or (800) 352-9424

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the leading federal entity supporting research on brain and nervous system disorders. It also sponsors an active public information program and can answer questions about diagnosis, treatment and research related to multiple sclerosis. In addition, there are a number of private organizations that offer a range of services and information that can help people affected by multiple sclerosis and their families.

These include the following: National Multiple Sclerosis Society 733 3rd Avenue, 6th Floor New York, NY 10017-3288 (212) 986-3240 or (800) 344-4867 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (National Multiple Sclerosis Society or NMSS) provides services and information related to multiple sclerosis in the United States, and is a major source of funding for basic, clinical and neurological research policy related to multiple sclerosis. You can find more information in the links.


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Bibliographic references

  • Fromm, Erich (1992). THE CURRENT HUMAN CONDITION and other topics of contemporary life. Mexico. Editorial PAIDOS.
  • Fraile Ovejero, A. (1988). Atlas of the Human Body (its functioning). Spain. Editorial Jover, S.A.
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