In multiple sclerosis, the myelin sheath becomes inflamed or damaged. This interrupts or slows down nerve impulses and leaves areas of scarring along the nerves. Multiple sclerosis can also damage the nerve cells themselves, not just their myelin lining. There is evidence to support that multiple sclerosis (MS) may affect the peripheral nervous system.
We evaluate peripheral sensory and motor nerve involvement in patients with multiple sclerosis using a nerve conduction velocity test. Nerve cells transmit messages between the central nervous system and the organs and limbs of the body. In multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammation damages nerve cells or neurons and demyelination can result. The involvement of motor neurons in the gray matter of the spinal cord can result in a decrease in the composite muscle action potential (CMAP) of motor nerves in nerve conduction studies.
Some research is studying drugs that protect nerves from damage and thus stop or slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). They found electrophysiological evidence that peripheral nerve injuries could be present in at least one peripheral nerve in 74.2% of patients. UAB researchers, led by Dr. Jianguo Gu, worked with a rat and identified two ion channels, called TREK-1 and TRAAK, as the main potassium channels in the Ranvier nodes of the rat's myelinated nerve.
The amplitude of the right ulnar sensory nerve was lower in the study patients compared to the normal population, while other sensory amplitudes were not significantly different. Myelin is made up of multiple components and has a high proportion of lipids and proteins, representing between 70 and 85% of dry weight, in both CNS and PNS myelin. While the primary goal of MS is demyelination along the axons of the CNS, there is evidence to support that MS could affect the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The central nervous system is able to overcome small areas of nerve damage by redirecting messages using intact nerve cells.