Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune and neurodegenerative disease in which the body attacks itself, wearing away at the myelin sheath of the nerves, eventually leading to interruptions to or the complete termination of neurotransmission.
Those who suffer from this disease experience abnormalities in their sensitivity and have difficulty moving their limbs. Scientific advancements in the field of neurology, however, have made it possible for neurons to regenerate, resulting in improved prognosis.
It is possible for neurons that have been lost due to disease to be regenerated through brain stimulation. However, as the clinical neurologist Alejandro Villarraga explains, these neurons will never be the same.
With cognitive stimulation exercises, new neural connections can be created which consist of new synapses that make recovering the function of the affected neural area possible. Learning new things and putting them into practice repeatedly, improve communication between synapses in a process called brain plasticity. With this process, neurological therapies that are designed specifically for diseases such as multiple sclerosis make it possible for regeneration to occur or for new neurons to grow in the brain that replace the functions of what those affected neurons did.
This reduces the structural impacts of multiple sclerosis and brings a better quality of life to those who suffer from it.
“That is how you can see plasticity in action more clearly: when other surrounding neurons begin to take on the roles of those neurons that are no longer there,” explains the neurologist.