John Chovan PhD DNP RN APRN-CNP APRN-CNS
Multiple Sclerosis, Pathophysiology, Autoimmune Disease, Nursing Implications, Epson-Barr Virus
Family Practice Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nervous System Diseases | Nursing
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation in the central nervous system and demyelination of the white matter in the brain and spinal cord, leading to lesions and axonal damage, possibly followed by relapse. It is a progressively debilitating disease with a variety of symptoms that mimic other diseases, such as blurred vision, nerve pain, fatigue, weakness, paresthesia, and unsteady gait. It occurs more frequently further from the equator. The pathophysiology of MS is unknown. Several new research theories are emerging which include innate and adaptive immunity playing a role (TH1 and TH17 specifically), infection with the Epson-Barr Virus, and alterations in the CXCL12 gene. Knowing the pathophysiology for MS creates room for further research on better treatments and maybe someday a cure. The family nurse practitioner must know how to screen for MS, interpret labs and MRI reports, educate, and treat symptoms of MS. Although MS has no cure, the earlier the diagnosis, the earlier treatment can begin leading to better outcomes and less permanent neurological damage.
Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, Pathophysiology, Autoimmune Disease, Nursing Implications, Epson-Barr Virus
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