There are causes for all human suffering, and there is a way by which they may be ended, because everything in the world is the result of a vast concurrence of causes and conditions and everything disappears as these causes and conditions change and pass away.
The Teachings of Buddha by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai
In young adults, in temperate Western climates, multiple sclerosis is the most common disease of the nervous system. Globally, some 2.5 million people suffer from this illness.
Dr. Harold Foster provides a detailed explanation about this terrible disease in his book "What Really Causes Multiple Sclerosis. "Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease for which there is no recognized conventional cure. It is associated with inflammation and ultimately the loss of myelin from the surface of nerves. This process of demyelination causes disruption to nerve transmission that can affect many body functions. It eventually leads to the patches of nerve scarring, known as ‘sclerosis,’ that give multiple sclerosis its name.
Dr. Foster points to a possible preventive strategy and how to intervene but in the end, it is our own choice.
Multiple sclerosis occurs more often in some families than chance alone would dictate. The average person living in the United States, for example, has roughly a 1 in 750 chance of developing multiple sclerosis. However, the children, brothers, sisters, or non-identical twins of somebody who already suffers from the disorder have a risk of getting it that ranges from about 1 in 100 to 1 in 40. In the case of identical twins, this risk increases to 1 in 3.5. Of course, if genetics were the only causal variable, the sibling of an identical twin with multiple sclerosis would always get the disorder. More specifically, in a large Canadian study of 5,463 multiple sclerosis patients, attending 10 different clinics, the disorder was found in 7 pairs of 27 monozygotic (identical) twins, that is in 25.9 percent of them, and in 1 of 43 dizygotic (fraternal) twins, or 2.3 percent. The risk of a first-degree relative of a multiple sclerosis patient de- veloping the disorder was between 5 and 15 times higher than that of the general population. Indeed, in Vancouver, British Columbia, first-degree relatives of multiple sclerosis patients were found to have a risk of developing the disorder that was 30 to 50 times greater than that of the general population. What do these figures really mean? Well in schizophrenia, the lifetime risk of developing the disease for relatives of a victim of the illness are roughly as follows: grandchildren (5 percent); uncles and aunts (2 percent); half siblings (6 percent); siblings (8 percent); siblings with one schizophrenic parent (17 percent); children (13 percent); fraternal twins (18 percent); identical twins (48 percent), and the offspring of two schizophrenics (47 percent). Clearly, genetics play a much stronger role in decid- ing who becomes schizophrenic than they do in controlling who develops multiple sclerosis. Even so, there appear to be not one, but four or perhaps more genetic aberrations involved in schizophrenia.
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