Cycling Against MS
- From: D_Frumious_B@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 20:53:48 +0000 (UTC)
dgk <dgk@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >Interesting. Was his MS caused by his being overweight and previously
> >sedentary lifestyle? I'm curious as to what the risk factors are for
> >the disease.
MS is (or seems to be) an auto-immune disorder. (There are some who
think a virus may also be associated with it.) Its precise cause is not
yet known, but it has something to do with white blood cells
misidentifying the myelin coating that insulates nerves and attacking it.
Two-thirds of those with MS are female, and the disease seems to be more
prevalent among people of northern-european extraction, though this may
turn out to be fallacious because of incomplete diagnostic and reporting
methods. The disease may be hereditary to a slight extent. In the
general population about one person in 400 will contract it. If you have
a parent or sibling with MS, your chance goes up to about one in 200.
Weight and a sedentary lifestyle are not known to contribute to the
onset of MS, though exercise helps it (see below). Well-known (and mostly
pretty svelte pre-disease) people with MS include Richard Pryor, Montel
Williams, Teri Garr, Donna Fargo, Roman Gabriel, Lena Horne, Louise
Mandrell, Lola Falana, Annette Funicello, David "Squiggy" Lander, and Alan
Osmond. The total number of people in the USA who have MS is around
Physical activity does not cure MS, but in many cases it does a lot to
ease the symptoms, and every expert I've heard from strongly recommends
exercise as therapy for it. The cyclist riding in the Pyrenees is a good
example of how exercise can help MS symptoms. I heard of another guy who
had a sudden, very severe onset, who fought his disease with exercise and
subsequently did a "grand slam," climbing every mountain in Colorado over
Bill, who has a slim, fit kid with MS.
__o | SUVs are the reason gas costs $5 a gallon.
_`\(,_ | Bicycles are the reason it isn't $10.
(_)/ (_) |
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