Of the many possible causes of multiple sclerosis, one of the most recent is head concussion in adolescence. According to a Swedish study, 22 percent of adolescents who suffered a concussion, later developed multiple sclerosis. With subsequent head concussions, the percentage rises.
According to Medical News Today, “Head trauma in adolescence, particularly if repeated, is associated with a raised risk of future multiple sclerosis, possibly due to initiation of an autoimmune process in the central nervous system.”
I do remember very well, as happens with unpleasant childhood events, being hit by a car when I was in the first grade. I had walked with my friend to the mailbox, about three blocks from my house, to mail a letter for my mother. After crossing the street to the mailbox, I realized that I had left the letter behind on the opposite side of the street, where my friend and I had stopped for a moment. Without stopping to think, I simply turned and ran back for the letter. I remember seeing a car bearing down on me, and then nothing.
When I returned to consciousness, I was sitting in an elderly woman’s car, crying. She was just about to take me to a hospital when my panicked mother showed up, having been fetched by my intrepid little friend, who had run all the way back to the house.
I soon developed a very painful, oblong lump on the left side of my head where it hit the pavement. I was rushed to the family doctor and was diagnosed with a head concussion.
I guess there is about a 22 percent chance that this is why I have MS, some fifty years later.
Did you have a concussion as a child?
Richard was raised in Portland, Oregon and diagnosed with MS in 2007. Within 3 years, he decided to retire early, at 55, and move to Bali with his wife, who is originally Indonesian. From there, he continues to write about experiences with MS as well as his various adventures on the island.