I chose to do my STEAM project on MS as I have had family members affected by the disease and I wanted to understand it as much as possible. I made nerve cells out of clay to show the degeneration caused by the attacks and flare ups. I feel that an model or illustration on what is happening on the cellular level helps give an understanding in the depths of the effects of the disease. We can see the damaged myelin and the axonal loss that results from the long term effects of the disease. By visualizing the damage we can get an idea of how the symptoms of MS are caused. These damaged cells form the plaques that are one of the hallmarks of MS. I learned a lot on my research for this project and realize that there is a lot left to learn.
This project of Multiple Sclerosis and its effects on the nervous system was very well put together and thought provoking. Multiple Sclerosis leaves long term effects on the neurons, this is shown by the pictures above. MS is seen as an autoimmune disease, it affects the Central Nervous System and attacks white and gray matter. MS attacks the Myelin sheath. The myelin sheath acts as insulation around axons of neurons that helps provide protection and speeds up the electrical nerve impulse transmission. When Demyelination occurs, it can cause degradation and loss of the action potential which can lead to the signals never reaching its intended target. This is the main cause of symptoms such as numbness, paresthesia, double vision, limb weakness and sensory disturbance. It is believed that either CD3+, CD8+, or CD4+ T cells are responsible for the disease. As far as the effects MS has on the brain goes, brain atrophy and loss of brain function and volume and key factors. Primary demyelination of the cell progresses into the secondary axonal degeneration.
There is no cure for MS, but there are treatments available. Most treatments available are for Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis or RRMS. The treatments are focused on demyelination and neuroprotection. Treatments have started to focus on the precise causes instead of just the treatment of symptoms. Although we have spent the past few years researching this heartbreaking disease, we still all have a lot to learn. There are countless medical trials and possible medications that will hopefully result in further relief for survivors of MS, but for now, we have to stick with what we know.