STEAM-M

Multiple sclerosis affects the neurons, or nerve cells, located in the central nervous system. A nerve cell is comprised of multiple regions. (Figure 1) The large area comprising a majority of the collective mass is the soma, or cell body, containing the nucleus. Branching off from the soma are the dendrites, which are responsible for receiving impulses from other neurons. Running oppositely from the branching dendrites is the axon, which carries the impulse to the axon terminal branch. Many nerve cells’ axons are protected by a myelin sheath. This sheath is especially important because it prevents interference with other neurons and hastens the impulses travel to the axon terminal branch. Once at the axon terminal branch, the impulse is then transmitted through the synaptic gap to other neurons. Multiple sclerosis occurs when the bodies immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, oligodendrocytes (cells that produce myelin), and the nerve fibers in the central nervous system(Figure 2&3). As the fibers and their myelin sheaths are damaged, the axon becomes exposed and the impulses that would normally travel down the axon are altered, wrongfully transferred, or stopped all together(Figure 2&3).

2 Comments

  1. Caleb did very well on his project, I loved the pictures at the end of the essay. What I learned from his project was that multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease and there is no cure. Once one is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis it not only affects the person who is diagnosed with it but it affects everyone around them. This type disease affects the central nervous system because the bodies immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, oligodendrocytes and the nerve fibers. Once this attack happens it leaves lesions, scarring and damage to the blood brain barrier, not allowing impulses to travel down the axon. Multiple sclerosis is still an unknown thing, on to whom will get this disease, but genetics is the biggest factor. This disease can be classified into eight categories, but the four main classifications are relapsing-remitting MS, secondary progressive MS, and primary progressive MS and clinically isolated syndrome.

    Natasha Villanueva-Cantohos

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