Myths about MS causes

Myth: MS is contagious.
Fact: MS is not contagious. You cannot catch MS by being in contact with a person who has the condition. And if you have MS, other people will not catch it from you. MS is believed to be caused by the body's immune system attacking the fatty insulating (myelin) cover on the nerve cells, leading to nerve damage.

Myth: Heavy metal poisoning can cause MS.
Fact: Current evidence does not suggest that heavy metal poisoning can lead to MS. Heavy metals include substances such as mercury (found in some dental fillings), lead (found in older pipes and water supplies), or manganese. Although heavy metal poisoning can cause nerve damage, this is not the same type of damage that occurs with MS.

Myth: Men and women are equally likely to develop MS.
Fact: Women are about 2 to 3 times as likely to get MS as men. Why? No one knows for sure. But new research suggests that it may be due to genetic factors. Women are more likely to have a gene variation that causes their bodies to produce too much of a substance called interferon gamma. While other interferons, such as interferon beta, can be used to treat MS, interferon gamma may increase the risk of developing MS.

Myth: MS is directly inherited.
Fact: MS is not directly inherited, but genetic factors may be involved in determining a person's risk of MS. There is no single MS "gene" that can be passed from parent to child, but having a parent with MS may slightly increase a child's risk.

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