Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disorder of the nervous system. There is so far, no cure for multiple sclerosis. The condition is disabling, and in most cases, individuals die prematurely from a variety of causes. Despite extensive research, the cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown.
Over the past few decades, there have been many reports suggesting that vaccines may be the cause of multiple sclerosis. And this is one of the many reasons for the massive anti-vaccine movement encouraging people not to take vaccines.
However, a very large study has just concluded that vaccines are not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. In fact, the study reveals that there is a consistent association between higher vaccination rates and the low probability of developing this disabling neurological disorder. Findings are published in the journal Neurology.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. They enrolled nearly 200,000 participants from the general population and analyzed the medical records covering the period 2005-2017. They evaluated the medical records and the vaccination history of all participants to evaluate how many people were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The medical records included the date of vaccination for measles, chickenpox, rubella, mumps, meningococcus, influenza, human papillomavirus, pneumococci, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and tick-borne encephalitis.
The data were statistically analyzed to determine if there was any link between vaccinations and multiple sclerosis. The analysis led to the conclusion that there was no link between vaccination and multiple sclerosis. In fact, what the researchers observed was that in patients who did receive vaccinations, the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis was rare. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disorder that results in damage to the covering of the nerve fibers.
The current theory is that it is an autoimmune disorder whereby the immune system goes rogue and starts to attack the nerves. Why the immune system goes awry remains a mystery. Globally MS affects 2.3 million people, with about a million patients in the US alone.
Multiple sclerosis can occur at any age but usually develops in between the second and fourth decade of life. The condition is 2-3 times more common in women compared to men. It presents with a variety of symptoms that are both unpredictable and vary from individual to individual. In almost all cases, the symptoms worsen with time. To date, no treatment can cure the condition, and most MS patients have a very poor quality of life.