Multiple Sclerosis

DEJA: So what’s wrong wit’ her?
TINO: They’re still ruling things out, but they’re pretty sure it’s multiple sclerosis.

In the play, the lunch lady, Bernadette, slowly begins to lose motor functions in her body making it difficult for her to move around until she eventually has to go to a hospital. She is then diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. Multiple sclerosis is a disease which affects the central nervous system, damaging insulating covers of nerve cells within the brain making it difficult for it communicate with the rest of the body,  In simpler terms, the brain has different parts to control different functions, such as motor skills and memory. They are like different departments within a company which runs living organisms by sending messages to each other and then eventually the entire body. However, MS damages the paths that these messages take making it hard or sometimes impossible for the messages to be sent.

This all can result in symptoms of:

  • Fatigue
  • Walking difficulties
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Weakening of muscles
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Pain
  • Paralysis
  • Etc.

The exact cause of MS and these symptoms are currently unknown but it is understood that the disease is not contagious nor directly inherited. Nevertheless, scientists do believe that it is a result of several different factors such as: environment, infections, genes, etc. The disease affects more than 2.3 million people all over the world with most people diagnosed between 20 and 50 years old. Even though there is no cure there are medications to help those with the condition and each year scientists are making strides to finally cure the disease.   

 

Want to know more about MS, check out this AsapSCIENCE video!

 

Sources:

"What Is MS?" National Multiple Sclerosis Society. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS