Neuropathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington's Disease: An Overview of Environment Patterns

Neuropathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington's Disease: An Overview of Environment Patterns

Omar El Hiba (Chouaib Doukkali University, Morocco & Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco), Nadia Zouhairi (Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco), Hicham Chatoui (Private University of Marrakech, Morocco & Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco), Tiziano Balzano (Príncipe Felipe Research Center, Spain), Hind Benammi (Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco), Faical Isbaine (Emory University, USA), Abdelali Bitar (Chouaib Doukkali University, Morocco), Hamid Rguibi Idrissi (Mohamed V University, Morocco), Ismail El Moudden (Mohammed V University, Morocco), Fatima Zahra Marhoume (Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco) and Halima Gamrani (Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7775-1.ch013
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Substantial epidemiological studies have established a link between environmental factors and prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases. Increasingly, some studies report a direct cause-and-effect relation between environmental agents such as heavy metals and pesticides, and some neurodegenerative disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS) and Huntington's disease (HD). Interestingly, high blood level of heavy metals and pesticides has been shown in patients with MS and HD. Those agents could be involved directly or indirectly in the pathogenesis of MS and HD. The underlying mechanisms may imply an immune breaking of self-tolerance or neurodegeneration onset of several neurotransmission systems. The chapter will discuss the role of different metals and pesticides in the onset and progress of MS and HD with an overview of the possible underlying pathomechanisms.
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Clinical Features And Physiopathology Of Ms

Symptomatology of MS

The history of MS dates back to the 14th century when anatomoclinical methods made the first time a correlation between the clinical features of the disease and the post-mortem neuropathological characteristics (Lublin, 2005). The recognition of MS as a distinct disease was quite a feat for the time. Since, many diseases in the early 19th century that would now be categorized as either neurological or psychiatric would have been classified as “nervous disorders” without separation between individual conditions (Murray, 2009). Such an attempt at the classification of neurological diseases had not been undertaken prior to Charcot (Tollis, 1996). Only a small group of illnesses such as epilepsy, paraplegia, and neurosyphilis were differentiated at the time (Murray, 2009).

On the basis of the neurological features of MS, neurologists agreed about grouping patients into 4 major categories depending on the development of the disease (Figure 1) (Fauci, Braunwald, Kasper & Hauser, 2008).

Figure 1.

Classification of the different forms of MS. A: Relapsing-remitting MS, B: secondary progressive MS, C: primary progressive MS, D: progressive-relapsing MS


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