I think both Crohns and MS are autoimmune diseases, but other than that, I don't know that there is a directly link. Not all of us with MS also have Crohns, or another autoimmune disease.
There ARE bowel problems associated with MS, though. Not everyone with MS experiences bowel problems, but for those of us who do, there is some consistency: it's a matter of bowel sluggishness. The bowel is a muscle. It contracts in a rhythmic pattern, expelling waste. If the nerve signals don't get through to the bowel from the brain (because of a lesion(s) in the wrong place), then the bowel doesn't work properly. Bloating, constipation, bowel incontinence, cramping -- all those kinds of things -- can result. But these are different than the issues with Crohns disease, although they may look similar from the outside.
I can't help with your question about brain atrophy. The pictures that I've seen seem to indicate that it is not just a particular part of the brain that shrinks, but an over-all shrinkage. But I really don't know.
Hi , how are you? So brain shrinkage can be caused by ms? I hadn't read that before. What happens when the brain shrinks? Could this be some of the cognitive problems some of us have? Do you know where I can learn more about this? Thanks, I always learn something from your posts. Linda
Yes, brain atrophy -- shrinkage -- can occur with MS. It's quite visible on x-rays of the brain, and MRI's of the brain. If you type
brain atrophy + multiple sclerosis
in a search engine like Google, you'll be led to all kinds of articles that will describe the problem, and discuss cognitive difficulties as well as physical disability, that can be a result of it.
We all have it to some extent, and brain atrophy is also a sign of aging. Just happens more quickly in folks with MS.