The basic nature of the disease is that T-cells called lymphocites begin attacking a certain protein within the mylan, or coating, of the nerves of the brain stem and spinal column. It is unclear whether the cells are attacking the brain itself or rather that they recognize, correctly or incorrectly, an infection in the brain.
Antibodies, made by another immune system cell called a B-cell, also attack the brain stem. This creates an enormous amount of the anti-body Gammaglobulin in the spinal fluid within the spinal column.
(from August 30,2009)
(From August 31, 2009)
So the question regarding MS has always been, why do the T-cells attack different proteins, mainly MBT, within the mylan coating of the nerves at the brain stem, called axons. Why do white blood cells seep into the brain? Why does the brain produce its own antibodies in gammaglobulin and send it down the spinal column?
The electrical impulses from the brain actually move down the mylan sheath of the axons. The electrical charge is sped up, in a healthy person, by jumping from one nodule in the mylan to the next, thus not having to move through the entire length of the axon. In MS patients a specially produced t-cell attacks protein, usually MBT, in the mylan on the nodules. This renders the electrical impulses from the brain quite impaired..
MS attacks occur when the white blood cells begin a new effort to attack the brain. These attacks usually effect the optic nerve and can last 4-6 weeks. There shorter episodes of MS than can last only minutes or hours and are brought on by the defective axons themselves and the impaired electricity.
So what is going on here? Is it a viral infection in the brain or an autoimmune response causing this? No MS virus has ever been isolated by a researcher. But abscence of proof is not proof of abscence. In other words, are the t-cells reacting to a real threat within the brain or are they simply defective cells that are falsely detecting a threat in the brain? Could there be a problem in the Thymus gland where t-cells are made?? Is there a "civil war" happening in the body where the brain is sending out gammaglobulin with antibodies to fight the invading t-cells??