Reflective Writing Nature vs Nuture

In this reflective writing , please respond in a way you agree or disagree/basic thoughts and used examples in our day to day activities to respond to this reflective writing

U can cite the source but is not recommended.

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Reflective writing about :

The chronic disease that I focused on for my case assignment was Multiple Sclerosis. Through my research I was interested to find much information supporting both a nature and nurture hypothesis. ”“Nature” refers to biological/genetic predispositions’ impact on human traits, and nurture describes the influence of learning and other influences from one’s environment,” (Medicinenet, 2017).

Johns Hopkins Medicine defines Multiple Sclerosis as a “chronic disease affecting the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). MS occurs when the immune system attacks nerve fibers and myelin sheathing (a fatty substance which surrounds/insulates healthy nerve fibers) in the brain and spinal cord. This attack causes inflammation, which destroys nerve cell processes and myelin – altering electrical messages in the brain,” (n.d., para 1).

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder affecting over 1 million persons in the United States and 2.3 million persons globally. The actual cause of Multiple Sclerosis remains unknown, but studies have proven both a genetic and environmental association with the disease. Although the disease is not a directly inherited disease, there have been two specific genes that have been identified in numerous persons whom have the disorder. One of these genes is expected to have been triggered by viruses suffered in childhood and adolescence. Other factors that have been identified to be associated with Multiple Sclerosis are childhood obesity, low exposure to sunlight, and smoking.

Epstein Barr virus is thought to be a trigger to activate genes associated with many autoimmune disorders, among those is Multiple Sclerosis. EBV is the virus that causes Mononucleosis, often referred to as the “kissing disease” and usually acquired in childhood. Most cases of EBV are mild and resolve on their own, presenting as a common cold and passing without severe consequences NIoAID, 2018). Another virus associated with higher risk of MS is Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6), the causative virus for the infantile disease Roseola. This disease is commonly seen in children between the age of 6 and 24 months, and shows evidence of association across 41 studies of those whom have developed Multiple Sclerosis later in life (Zimmer, 2020).

Although there is no certainty to the provocation of Multiple Sclerosis, environmental risks are thought to be a high contributor to risk. It has been found that those whom live further from the equator are at a higher risk, low vitamin D levels in the blood are a contributor, as well as smoking, obesity, and stress. “Some researchers believe that sun exposure (the natural source of Vitamin D) may help to explain the north-south distribution of MS,” (NMSS, n.d.). Smoking has been proven to increase risk and accelerate disease, and stopping smoking slows progression. Furthermore, obesity during childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood also increases the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis later in life; a diet high in saturated fats including cow’s milk can lead to development and worsening of symptoms. Many studies have also linked high levels of stress before onset of initial symptoms and in causing worsening of pre-existing Multiple Sclerosis.

There have been links to geographical locations, food consumption, diet, air pollution, and stress to contributing to higher likelihood of development and worsening of symptoms. As the population grows, cases of MS are expect to increase and commonly occur in clusters in the areas further away from the equator including Northern Europe and the United States. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, low fat diets, and adequate Vitamin D intake play a significant role in prevention and improvement of current symptoms in those already diagnosed. As the actual causative factors continue to unfold, it is important to understand that reduction of environmental exposures that are known to be harmful are key to a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention.


MedicineNet (2017). Nature vs. Nurture Theory: Is It In Our Genes or Our Environment? Retrieved November 16, 2020 from: definitions

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Multiple Sclerosis. Retrieved on November 11, 2020 from

Lempriere, S. (2020). Air Pollution Linked to Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke. Nature Reviews Neurology. 16:127, Retrieved from

National Multiple Sclerosis Society. (n.d.). What Causes MS. Retrieved on November 9, 2020 from

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2018). Epstein Barr Virus Protein Can “Switch On” Risk Genes for Autoimmune Diseases. Retrieved from

Olsen, N. (2019). MS: Foods to Avoid. Healthline. Retrieved from

Zimmer, K. (2020). Types of Herpes Virus Tied to Multiple Sclerosis. Retrieved from

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