Unraveling the Mysterious Connection: Multiple Sclerosis, Atherosclerosis, and Heart Health

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Recent research has suggested a possible link between multiple sclerosis (MS) and atherosclerosis, as both conditions involve an abnormal hardening of body tissues. MS is a disease that damages the brain and spinal cord, while atherosclerosis leads to the hardening of arteries.

A study conducted in 2018 by Romanian researchers, led by Dr. Raluca Ileana Mincu, used advanced echocardiography to assess the heart and blood vessels of patients with MS. This technology helps visualize blood flow through the heart and valves. The results showed that MS patients had more impairments in their hearts compared to healthy individuals.

Another study, led by Raffaele Palladino from Imperial College London, followed over 84,000 people for 10 years. The research compared heart health in participants with and without MS. The findings showed that people with MS had a 50% higher chance of dying from heart disease, a 28% higher chance of having a heart attack, and a 59% higher chance of experiencing a stroke.

Although these studies do not prove that MS causes atherosclerosis, there seems to be a strong connection between the two diseases. As a result, comprehensive heart exams are essential for people with MS, as advanced techniques can help prevent life-threatening heart disease in high-risk patients.

Further research is needed to understand the processes that link MS and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty deposits build up in the arteries, reducing blood flow and limiting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to various body parts. This chronic condition can cause coronary artery disease, angina, peripheral artery disease, and kidney problems. The exact causes of atherosclerosis are not yet fully known, but risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes.

On the other hand, MS is a disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the central nervous system. This disrupts nerve signals between the brain, spinal cord, and other body parts, resulting in hardened scar tissue after each attack. About 1 million adults in the US have MS, with symptoms ranging from vision impairment, sensory and cognitive changes, weakness, pain, fatigue, bowel and bladder incontinence, and difficulties in coordination and walking.

Key Takeaways in a Nutshell – Health Newstrack

– Multiple sclerosis (MS) and atherosclerosis both involve abnormal hardening of body tissues, and research suggests a possible link between the two conditions.

– MS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, while atherosclerosis is the hardening of arteries.

– Studies have shown that people with MS have a higher risk of heart-related issues, such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

– Comprehensive heart exams are important for people with MS to help prevent life-threatening heart diseases.

– Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary artery disease, angina, peripheral artery disease, and kidney problems, while MS affects the central nervous system, causing various physical and cognitive symptoms.

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