Questions about Crohn's and MS, also MS brain atrophy

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Keely
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/29/2006 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everybody,
 
I'm new to the forum, and posted a question last night with no subject line! Sorry---I'm posting the original question again, but adding another one to it as well, and I would really appreciate any info that anyone out there can give me.
 
Here's the new question:  How common is it to have both MS and Crohn's, and is there a link between the two?
 
The first question, which I posted last night, is about MS and brain atrophy.
When tissue shrinkage is involved, is there any specific part of the brain where this is more common?  For instance, is tissue loss and atrophy in the frontal lobes typical at all in MS?  I've checked all the websites, but none of them address this type of tissue loss specifically. 
 
Thanks very much for the help, and good wishes and courage to everybody out there!-----Keely

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 6/29/2006 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   

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.


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


xxeegg
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/29/2006 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   

uppitycats

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


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 6/29/2006 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   

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.


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Keely
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/29/2006 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks very much for the reply, Uppity!  If anyone else has some thoughts or knowledge about this, please let me know----Keely

Keely
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/29/2006 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh---and if you can think of anything else to add to this, Uppity, I would appreciate hearing about it as well! I Googled the topic as you suggested, and found some new material, as well as the stuff I had already found. Thanks again Uppity---and everybody! I'll be posting again soon-----Keely

my5cats
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 6/29/2006 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to a seminar that Biogen put on and they had a neuropsychologist speaking about the brain shrinking from MS.  He did give a lot of info on the physical part but also suggested that we should all continue to read and do puzzles etc.  Things that keep the brain in good functioning order.  Not that doing these things will make the physical part stop, but that it will help us all to cope with it.  He explained that rather than "forgetfulness" which I thought I was experiencing, it is really a slowing of the thought proccessing.  He said that giving yourself a little extra time to try to figure something out will make it seems less daunting and frustrating.  I try to remember that and it does seem to help.

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 6/29/2006 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Brain atrophy is common with aging, too..which is why many of our cognitive difficulties sometimes respond to the same meds that they give folks with Alzheimers. And indeed, doing things like crossword puzzles, other "brain teasers", anything that challenges your brain, can help to combat it.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

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